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My Top 10 Pet Peeves (as a Writer)

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Old 09-12-2013, 06:25 AM
Leani Lopez (Offline)
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Default My Top 10 Pet Peeves (as a Writer)


My Top 10 Pet Peeves (as a Writer)

Let's face it - as soon as someone hears that you are a writer you are typically bombarded with either questions or requests.

At least, that's what I've found.

There are always going to be people out their to give you their two cents, even if you don't want it. Especially if you don't want it.

I decided to compile of list of my top 10 Pet Peeves as a writer mainly to vent.


10. Blatantly insulting a writer.

It takes a lot of courage to let someone read what you wrote. For the longest time I wouldn't let anyone read my writing. I just kept it to myself. When I did let someone read my writing, it was only someone online who I didn't know personally. It was easy for me to allow them to read my writing because if they judged me for it or didn't like it, who cares? I didn't know them.

It took me a very, very long time to allow my friends to read my writing. And even longer to let my family.

This is why, when someone blatantly insults someone's writing, it gets on my nerves. This person put themselves and their writing out there. They took a chance. And because you don't like what they wrote you feel you have the right to bring them down? NO! Just shut up and go on your merry way!


9. People who ask the general question: "What do you write about?"

The question is harmless enough, I know. It's a simple question. The problem is, there is no simple answer. Most writers are involved in multiple projects and genres. I have rarely heard of a writer who hasn't branched out to explore other writing options. It's how you grow as a writer. So when people ask "What do you write about?" how are you supposed to respond? Everything! I writing about everything!

It's hard to give an honest answer without sounding like you're bragging. For example, when people ask me what I write about, currently my response is "I'm focused on several different projects at the moment." It's easier then saying, "Well I just wrote a book, I'm writing two more at the moment and I'm working on a blog."

Another reason why it's a pet peeve is because people don't really care when they ask.

There has been so many times when people have asked me that question, but as soon as they find out I write fantasy, they immediately lose interest and change the subject. If you're not really interested, don't ask!


8. People you barely know who want you to put them in your writing: "Can you write a character about me?", "Can you have a character named after me?", "What if this person did this and this and this, like I do?"

I will answer this with a simple statement: "NO I WON'T PUT YOU IN MY F****** WRITING! GET OFF MY BACK!"

Ehhmm...I mean, no, I'm sorry. If I do not know you, why would a name a character after you? Or base one off of you? This is my writing. MY thoughts and stories. If you don't cross my thoughts, you're not crossing into my writing. Sorry. Not going to happen.

I always found this question so random and incredibly self-absorbed. Do you really feel that you are that special? Or, on the opposite end, are you that desperate for attention?


7. People who try to take over your writing: "Oh you should really do this instead!" or "I don't think that character who do that."

Listen. It's my writing. I am creating the story. I am creating the characters. I will make them do or say anything I feel is right.

You never try to take over someone's writing, especially if you don't write yourself. There is nothing worse then someone who doesn't write, trying to tell you how to write. Backseat drivers are annoying. Backseat gamers are annoying. Backseat writers are the WORST! Unless the writer is specifically asking you for your opinion, don't offer it. Not only is it insulting to the writer, but you might not have all the information.

For example, if a character who you didn't think was violent suddenly does a violent act, don't put your two cents in. Don't tell the writer that the scene is wrong or shouldn't have happened. You probably don't have all the information. The safest thing to do is assume the writer knows what they are doing.

Surprisingly, most writers do.


6. Asking a writer when they are going to be finished writing: "So when do you think you'll be done?" or "Do you know when you're going to finish writing your book?"

I can guarantee that a writer never knows when they are going to be finished. They can have a general idea of when they will be done, or a deadline. But deadlines are more suggestions, am I right?

Even if the story has been written, editing can take longer than the writing! It took me roughly 11 months to write the main storyline for BLOOD but almost two years to complete the editing process. Well, a year and a half but it felt like two years!

Asking the writer when they will be done will not only induce rage, but will also make the writer feel rushed. Rushed writing is poor writing. If the writer is taking their time, that's a good sign. They are actually thinking about the story and what they are putting down on paper. A better way to phrase the question would be "Do you have a release date you're shooting for?" It's a little more relaxed than asking when they will be outright done.


5. Begging a writer to read their writing, then not actually reading it.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me!

Again and again I have people who tell me they want to read my writing or they can't wait to read my writing. I send it to them, looking and hoping for feedback and then, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Is my writing so bad that they just decided to disappear off the face of the Earth? I'm hoping not, but that's what it feels like.

If you tell a writer you will give them feedback, at least followup with them. Even if you end up not having the time to read it, or something else gets in the way. At least let the reader know. In the past when this has happened to me I have internalized their lack of response. I always feel like they just didn't like it and don't want to tell me. Or that they really didn't care to begin with.


4. Pointing out writing mistakes when the writer doesn't ask you to.

Look, I know my first drafts can be very grammatically incorrect. I get it. It's a first draft.

When I'm writing a first draft, I'm more focused on the story than anything else. So if you ask to read the first draft, and I warn you that it hasn't been edited, DON'T POINT OUT MISTAKES! I know there are mistakes! I literally just finished telling you that there are mistakes!

I don't mind if you tell me a sentence doesn't make sense, because you can't give me feedback on the content if you don't understand what I'm trying to say. However, if I forgot a comma or quotation mark, don't point it out. It feels like you're nitpicking.


3. Judging a writer based on their stories.

Creative writing is about letting your imagination run free. It's about telling a story. Some stories are darker than others. Some cover topics that people are uncomfortable with.

Just because you're uncomfortable with something you read, doesn't give you the right to judge the writer. All they did was tell a story.

I think most people who judge writers negatively for what they've written do so because they are uncomfortable with the fact that what the person wrote has some truth to it. There are many terrible things in this world. Things that people don't even know about or think about. If a writer decides bring awareness to these things, that doesn't give you the right to judge them.

You know how they say, don't judge a book by its cover? Well don't judge a writer by their story.


2. Not being honest when critiquing a writer

I will admit I am guilty of this one.

I find it so hard to give my honest thoughts on someone's writing because you never know how someone is going to react. In the past, when I have been asked for my opinion I was immediately shot down or the person got angry with me. As a result, it's very hard for me to give my honest thoughts.

It's also because I have been on the other end of the critique. I am guilty of getting upset about feedback. Thankfully, college pretty much beat that out of me.

So when I ask for honest opinions and all I get is "It was good" with no followup or details, I get frustrated. A lot of writers strive on feedback. What was good? The characters, the story? What did you like about the characters? What scenes did you enjoy the most? What scenes did you not enjoy? Why didn't you enjoy them? Did they not make sense? Why? WHY? WHY? WHY?

I can't improve my writing if you don't give me something to go on. I can't make my writing the best it can be if I don't know what's wrong with it. Scenes may sound great to me, but that's only because I know how they are supposed to read.

I want to say thank you to everyone who read BLOOD and gave me honest feedback. It was so helpful and I had a lot of fun with it. Now, when I'm working on SILVER or To Court Death, I think about the feedback I was given on BLOOD and I try not to make the same mistakes I made then.


1. People who laugh at English Majors or don't understand what Creative Writing is: "You went to school for Creative Writing? What does that mean?" or "You went to school for Creative Writing? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA."

First off, what does creative writing mean? It means writing. . . creatively. There's not really a complicated definition. It's just writing.

Believe it or not, having someone laugh at my major happened to me on my last day on my college campus. I worked in the Admissions Office and gave tours to families and students who were interested in the college. I did this for two years and never had anyone give me any sort of grief over my major. In fact, several parents were very interested in the major and actually were curious as to what writing projects I was working on and what I wanted to do with my writing in the future. I even caught the attention of several students who were interested in the same major. Once they learned what I was studying, their whole attitude towards the tour changed and they became engaged and excited.

But, on my last day, when an overbearing mother asked me what I was graduating with a degree in, and I told her, her response was "Oh, hahahahahahaha!" The bitch outright laughed in my face! I had just spent four years studying literature and how to become a better writer. I endured having essays and readings in every single class because I wanted to improve one of the few talents I had. I was in the process of writing a book, something I had been dreaming of doing since I was 14. And this woman, who didn't even know me, laughed because I was studying English.

Well screw you random lady! I got my current job because I'm a writer. I wrote and self-published a novel and now I'm writing two more novels at the same time. I WIN!

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Last edited by Leani Lopez; 09-12-2013 at 07:00 AM.. Reason: language
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2013, 06:53 AM
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F**k of... they are such a @@@@@@
We are creative person, why do we just think about them. I feel pampered If any one laughing on me...
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:52 AM
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I just tell people I'm a gigilo. This cuts down on idle chit chat, most of the time.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:27 AM
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Applause, bravo, exactly, I concur - thank you!

#6. I donned the task of publishing my first book and began the journey in 2008. I couldn't believe through the journey how many people nudged me in asking, "When's your book..."

Frustrating, yes. But on the lighter side, it let me know people were interested in my book and kept me on track, although a long one. I finally published it a few months ago.

#4. Ok, so my book was self-published. I had an editor as well, but we had a lot of fundamental work to do. So a few grammatical error slipped through the cracks. I eagerly asked someone how they liked the book and they replied, "So, do you want me to circle all the grammatical errors in it for you?"

REALLY?!

Sigh - so I decided to throw it back to my grammatical critics to send me notes of these errors and of 5 people, only 1 got back to me with corrections.

Thank you for your post - refreshing.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:02 AM
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You are quite welcome! Thanks for replying!
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:01 PM
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I eagerly asked someone how they liked the book and they replied, "So, do you want me to circle all the grammatical errors in it for you?"
Oh, how annoying!! Lol. Really, no work will ever be perfect, and that wasn't the question you'd asked the person!
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:16 PM
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Exactly! My fiance does this to me constantly! I'll ask him to give me feedback on the story, and he'll come over and point out something grammatical. To which I respond:

Then I'll ask him about the story and he's like "Oh yeah, that was good."
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Last edited by Leani Lopez; 09-19-2013 at 12:17 PM.. Reason: sentence
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:13 PM
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Lol! Arrugh.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:31 AM
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I find it rather interesting how many people I know that don't write, hardly read and are admittedly "terrible" at English that are first to offer their grammatical critiques!

I try to be open and read past them and look more in depth for the meat of the story. We all know that we can go back and fix little things like commas!!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:26 AM
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enjoyed
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:26 PM
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escorial,
When I first started writing fiction I let my father read a story that I was proud to have written. His remark was,"That's pretty good you should give it to a writer."

Maybe he meant publisher, I was too busy having a stroke to ask.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Leani Lopez View Post
Exactly! My fiance does this to me constantly! I'll ask him to give me feedback on the story, and he'll come over and point out something grammatical. To which I respond:

Then I'll ask him about the story and he's like "Oh yeah, that was good."
This is exactly why Spag is so important. It's like stepping on your shoelace while taking a walk. It's irritating and distracts you from the scenery. If you want people to focus on your story, spell and punctuate it right.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:11 AM
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I started a book ten years ago and I still haven't finished the first chapter. That's why I joined this site. Haaaa!
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:45 AM
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Can't say I've really had to deal with any of these to the extent where it would bother me. Maybe because I'm fairly selective when it comes to who reads my work. And I just don't talk about my writing unless I'm asked, and that rarely happens. Otherwise, you know what they say about opinions.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:29 AM
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Cool piece!
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:25 AM
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My favorites are #2 and #4. That bugs me like no tomorrow. When ever I submit a chapter to be critiqued I ALWAYS write, I know there are grammar errors. Sh!# that is not why I want it critiqued, if it was I would ask for an editor. I want to know that my work flows the way I see it in my mind, and if I am missing something that could make it better I want to know that too.

Anyways nice set of Pet Peves
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:00 PM
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Regret I've never experienced this. Yes, I was physically assaulted for a play I wrote - even that sordid episode gave me an interesting anecdote to repeat endlessly to literary friends!

: = )

Last edited by LanceRocks; 11-06-2013 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:31 PM
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I cannot blame you.
I think most of your peeves can be felt by me.
As selfish as I am, I am not good at accepting criticism and opinions.
Trust me, I am trying because this isn't Planet Me.
But I try..so my advice is...taking a deep breath, trying to be objective, and head off to paper where you can vent all your anger on there about these "darn nosy" people!
I'm sure they'll find no crit on that.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:20 AM
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I hate every one of those! Wow.

I think my #1 worst is when someone wants to know about your book, and then AS YOU'RE TELLING THEM they interrupt you with 'better' ways to end it or how it 'should' go.

If you think you can write it better, then start typing buddy!
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:30 AM
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I don't mind others views on my writing, even when they say shit like "Would this not be a better...", or even the "You should have...". I smile, I wave and go back to writing. I don't care if my writing is not to others standards either... At least I'm writing... Are you?

Most of these points I kinda want to hate, some I do. But overall, I get where some of you are coming from here.

Good day to you all.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:06 AM
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Writers are a terribly oppressed minority. Dealing with the offhand remarks and opinions of others can be such a burden -- especially when they bring out the dogs and fire hoses. Woe is me!
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:19 AM
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Yeah... Dragons do exist...
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