Black Holes of Writing

CuteGod Development: (44 / 172 requirements)
Wind, Bear, and Moon Proposal
Summer Biking: (203.5 / 400.0 km)

You ever get the impression that what you do or what you write basically is falling into the Pit of Oblivion instead of being read, appreciated, and inspiring someone to say "damn, that's cool" or "I see a problem..."?

I know that that is the nature of the Internet, but I keep getting this feeling that I'm doing something wrong. A good example, I did Glorious Saber #004 two weeks ago. On the The Freedom Stone forum, I posted it. After two weeks and sixty views, no comments. The last two stories I wrote were the same way, 80 views, no comments. On the other hand, others get comments every 20 or so views, which is what I consider a popular post. So, there is something different about my stuff and theirs. There is skill and talent, of course, but I don't get a "you did this wrong" type of stuff. That's happened to me a lot. I get comments that I'm a great writer (and apparently have a reputation in some non-marketable fields) but then the comments just... stop. No more comments, no more complaints. There is something about my writing that just inspires people not to respond. And this is in comparison to hundreds of other postings in the same forum.

A good example is the Freedom Stone forum. I've posted about ten stories there. I've gotten comments about chat that I'm in the top ten writers on the forum, yet no comments. People say they love my writing, it is truly wonderful, but then no one actually tells me in a public manner, just private messages and chat. The absolutely same thing happens for the last five forums I've moved to. Lots of stories get posted that get comments up the wazoo, but I get only feedback in private never public.

So, I have to try figuring it out why the hard way. Kind of like my novels. Both Wind, Bear, and Moon and Muddy Reflections have gotten negative pointers (i.e. things that I did wrong and the best type of feedback for me at this point) from scienceprinces and eyezofwolf respectively. Beyond that, neither story has ever gotten constructive criticism. In years. My rejections are, "lovely story, not our (thing|genre|market|style)" but never anything specific. Mr. Helfers (a publisher I met at GenCon), when asked, basically said WBM was a good story but they don't do Young Adult. Ditto with Muddy Reflections. Fair enough, but doesn't point out what I need to improve it. I've send them out to dozens of friends, family, and complete strangers. None of them came back with anything other than love and affection.

So, what scienceprincess said made a lot of sense. And she is absolutely right about what she mentioned. Kind of frustrating since I feel that I should have figured it out before, or that I haven't adjusted for when I went through those same experiences (rejection of parents, the emotional states, struggling with boyfriend/girlfriend) was much earlier than what her students went through. I wrote based on my life.

I also never realized that the sentence structure had something to do with it. But, what she mentioned before made a lot of sense. I have a very formal style of writing and occasionally use archaic constructs (like myrid of.. just to annoy fightertype). When I got my first novel edited (we don't talk about this one), the editor said I had a "fascinating voice that was unusual." I suspect that comment, though vague, is probably related to what scienceprincess said, just she stated it in terms that I understand. The fact she couldn't get into the first forty pages of WBM also points out that I need to change something.

But, given that people can't tell me what I've done wrong, it really points out that I have to figure it out. I have to tear apart my writing and try to figure out what is not interesting, while looking from the inside of the bubble. One of the hardest things in the world to do, in my opinion, since the worse judge of a person is themselves.

I think that is why I offered reviews for the authors at GenCon (and did them for Kaywall and eyezofwolf). I am giving them something that I struggle for myself. Yeah, it isn't perfect, but I want that honesty, I want to know what I'm doing wrong since I can't see it by myself. Baring getting it myself, I feel that I should offer it to others since I'm giving what I want myself.

In other news, I lost all the food in the refrigerator but didn't lose the refrigerator itself. It recovered after eight hours of thawing. The entire back end was a solid block of ice instead of healthy hoarfrost. I also finished Glorious Saber #005 last night.