what is the difference between ....

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deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:33 pm

ostarella wrote:
> The big picture would be so huge as to be of little value, things like
> 'write a good story' or 'know your grammar'. Past those obvious bits of
> advice, I can't think of much advice that doesn't involve the author's
> personal preferences/prejudices. Authors write about writing because
> they're enthusiastic about the way they write, and they want to share that
> enthusiasm (or they're written by people who haven't written but have read
> a lot of advice by people who have). Which is fine, until one starts
> reading words like "need to", "should",
> "always", "must", "can't" - those are the
> words of someone who doesn't realize that their advice won't work for
> everyone. And of course, we're missing the advice of so many writers who
> have no interest in writing about writing because they're too involved with
> - well, writing. So it's kinda like those online "Please fill out the
> survey" - the results are really meaningless because you're only
> hearing from people motivated to respond, and not from a legitimate
> cross-section of the population.
>
> So I stand by my advice - write enough so you know what you're good at and
> what needs work, then look at books/sites and see if you find something
> that might help. But we really need to quit treating these how-to books as
> if they were gospel.
========

The big picture may be of little value to the experienced writer. Yet tens of thousands of these books are sold every year to people who want to learn how to write their own novel or script.

There is much more advice than merely write a good story or know SPAG.

Their advice may be their prejudice but so many of those books are so similar at the big picture level which indicates they all basically agree on the approach and the real difference is in the details they use.

Your advice is nice, but many people are clueless to start writing at all to discover what they are good at. They look at the books and sites and choose some of the many that are available to get them started. Nobody treats how to books as gospel, but they do offer information that can be used by a new writer that puts them far ahead of some trial and error approach.

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ostarella
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby ostarella » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:30 pm

I simply can't imagine how people like Dickens and Twain managed without them. :roll:

deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:47 pm

ostarella wrote:
> I simply can't imagine how people like Dickens and Twain managed without
> them. :roll:
============

Non sequitur and irrelevant to this discussion.
Newer people always learn from the pioneers how to do things better faster easier.
Whatever problems Dickens and Twain had, there is no reason for today's novelists to have them if they can learn how to avoid them.

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Brien Sz
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby Brien Sz » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:06 pm

Like most things, passion is something that grows from within, it's organic. People who like to write, write. As they grow they will gravitate towards lessons and advice that best suites their needs. If someone says, I want to write and be a novelist and has never written before, then there's a good chance and isn't happening even if they purchased a wall full of books. Some things are just innate. Discipline is another matter and that's where most fall short - they have the want, they don't have the will to withstand the storm.

There is no golden egg for this. You can teach to a point, the rest is the gift given and what you do with it. I wanted to be a professional baseball player, but my hitting never amounted to much no matter how many hours I practiced in a cage, or lessons. I only improved so much, while other guys just, 'had it.' A buddy of mine was scouted by the Dodgers when he lived in Venezuela in the early 80's. He was really good, just like a lot of guys. You know how they separated the ones they wanted from the ones they didn't to get to the next level (unless you were already considered a can't miss)? - the scout said to my friends, "throw this ball 90mph five times." He threw it 91 once. The rest were high 80's. You know the scout said? He said, "Next!".

Bill Belechek (sic) wanted to be a pro football player. He just didn't have the size or speed so instead, he realized he had a knack for coaching and became the best at it.

I cite these examples because at some level, you have it or you don't. Yes, you can learn to write. You can probably even earn a few bucks at it here or there but unless you have the gift or some portion of it, it's highly doubtful all the books in the world will do anything for you.

I teach photography. I've been teaching it for 20 years - to all ages. Some people have a natural knack for composing great shots. Others can be coached into becoming adequate or better than that photographers. And others, they don't see it, they don't get. It won't matter how many books they read, it just will probably not happen for them.

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ostarella
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby ostarella » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:57 pm

YES

deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:02 pm

Brien Sz wrote:
> Like most things, passion is something that grows from within, it's
> organic. People who like to write, write. As they grow they will
> gravitate towards lessons and advice that best suites their needs. If
> someone says, I want to write and be a novelist and has never written
> before, then there's a good chance and isn't happening even if they
> purchased a wall full of books. Some things are just innate. Discipline
> is another matter and that's where most fall short - they have the want,
> they don't have the will to withstand the storm.
>
> There is no golden egg for this. You can teach to a point, the rest is the
> gift given and what you do with it. I wanted to be a professional baseball
> player, but my hitting never amounted to much no matter how many hours I
> practiced in a cage, or lessons. I only improved so much, while other guys
> just, 'had it.' A buddy of mine was scouted by the Dodgers when he lived
> in Venezuela in the early 80's. He was really good, just like a lot of
> guys. You know how they separated the ones they wanted from the ones they
> didn't to get to the next level (unless you were already considered a can't
> miss)? - the scout said to my friends, "throw this ball 90mph five
> times." He threw it 91 once. The rest were high 80's. You know the
> scout said? He said, "Next!".
>
> Bill Belechek (sic) wanted to be a pro football player. He just didn't
> have the size or speed so instead, he realized he had a knack for coaching
> and became the best at it.
>
> I cite these examples because at some level, you have it or you don't.
> Yes, you can learn to write. You can probably even earn a few bucks at it
> here or there but unless you have the gift or some portion of it, it's
> highly doubtful all the books in the world will do anything for you.
>
> I teach photography. I've been teaching it for 20 years - to all ages.
> Some people have a natural knack for composing great shots. Others can be
> coached into becoming adequate or better than that photographers. And
> others, they don't see it, they don't get. It won't matter how many books
> they read, it just will probably not happen for them.
============

People learn to play the piano all the time. They use books, some also use teachers.
Of course it takes practice and work to gain skills and become better.
Not everybody becomes a concert pianist. Or even good enough for a garage band keyboard.

It is less about having some 'it' and more about how much you want to put in the work to acquire that skill.
Maybe at the Carnegie Hall level there is a basic limiting factor like long fingers and fast twitch muscles , but almost anybody can learn to play the piano.

And millions of people can write novels as kindle and POD publishing has proven.
Whether they write good novels still depends on learning the craft more than having some innate skill to do it.
Tens of thousands of peoples buy books on how to write novels expecting that they can learn to do it that way.
No matter how much they learn it has to put them farther ahead sooner than trial and error could do.

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Brien Sz
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby Brien Sz » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:25 pm

Essentially you stated 'master of the obvious' stuff, but this wasn't your initial premise for the post.

Yes, anyone can learn, anyone can get better... so what was the point of this entire post then if this was already forgone knowledge?

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ostarella
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby ostarella » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:27 pm

And then there are artists who play be ear, never having had any formal training at all.

Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, jazz drummer Tony Williams, Stevie Ray Vaughan, famed composer Danny Elfman, Kanye West, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Eric Clapton, Kurt Vile.

https://mic.com/articles/101250/why-not-being-able-to-read-music-means-nothing-about-your-musical-ability#.eq1dNXLZK

Writers, like musicians, need to allow themselves to just do it, without worrying about who says they should do it This Way and who else says they should do it That Way. Beyond a basic grammar book and healthy interest in reading the kind of books they want to write, there is nothing else a writer really needs to "learn" how to write.

deddmann_writing
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby deddmann_writing » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:18 pm

ostarella wrote:
> And then there are artists who play be ear, never having had any formal
> training at all.
>
> Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, jazz drummer Tony Williams,
> Stevie Ray Vaughan, famed composer Danny Elfman, Kanye West, Rage Against
> the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Eric Clapton, Kurt Vile.
>
>
> https://mic.com/articles/101250/why-not-being-able-to-read-music-means-nothing-about-your-musical-ability#.eq1dNXLZK
>
> Writers, like musicians, need to allow themselves to just do it, without
> worrying about who says they should do it This Way and who else says they
> should do it That Way. Beyond a basic grammar book and healthy interest in
> reading the kind of books they want to write, there is nothing else a
> writer really needs to "learn" how to write.
==========

Great if you can do it that way by yourself. Most people can't. Amazon proves that.

WD and others sell tons of books as well as courses and retreats and other things that people buy all the time to learn how to write.
If nobody was learning anything the word would get around fast and the books would stop selling and the courses would not have students.

I suspect that many of their students may have tried to DIY and failed. Or they read some books and still didn't get enough so they signed up for the courses and seminars next. And if they had learned just enough from some books they would still be looking for more advanced ways to make their stories better.

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Brien Sz
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Re: what is the difference between ....

Postby Brien Sz » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:21 pm

Lots of good intentions. However, a lot of money is made by having cats chase their tails.

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