May 28th, 2006

Loz Cola

Of Readers and Writers and My Fragile Ego...

I finished my greatestfits challenge entry. Well, okay, "finished" is subjective. I've finished my third draft. I do still need a beta-reader (which, I know, is terribly short notice but I forgot I signed myself up for this). I used Mum at first, but she hasn't seen the show, and actually - yeah, in true Loz fashion, this is one of those stories which makes a lot more sense with canonical knowledge. Or, in fact, "makes sense with canonical knowledge".

As I previously said, I like to write in the bubble. The bubble is a good place to be. It's safe, and you can see what everyone else is doing, but there's a nice little wall there, preventing unwanted entry. I write in the bubble and I edit in the bubble, and I pop out of the bubble every now and then to get self-gratification. But, uh, I'm beginning to accept that this probably isn't a good way of doing things - especially for me, someone who knows they're a flawed writer and therefore needs help.

Learning to ask for assistance is a scary business. I have my pride, I have my inferiority complex. I'm not completely incapable of taking constructive criticism, but I am used to that constructive criticism coming from myself. It's also partly to do with, you know, beta-reading actually being hard work. I don't want to impose myself upon someone. I've done quite a bit of beta work recently and it takes time and a great deal of trust - both from the person offering the story and the beta-reader.

I'm not a naturally trusting person. I give the appearance that I am, but in actuality I'm usually not. It's not that I think the worst of people all the time, it's more that I can imagine myself being a certain way and assume that everyone can be like that too. So, trusting my writing in the hands of someone else is always a conflicting situation for me. Because usually, I know when something doesn't work, but sometimes I want to cling to it anyway? And the thought of having a person like myself, but who isn't myself say "you know, it doesn't work" and scrawl on my precious baby in red ink mortifies me somewhat. Even though I know, it must be done if ever I am to improve.

An outside perspective can be a blessing. Sometimes you write a line and it fits into a little slot in your mind where it belongs, but when someone else comes along they're stuck in a perpetual confusion. Or you might not know how to get from A to B, but your kindly neighbourhood writing wizard does. Perhaps you have a wonderful plot, but no decent dialogue to speak of. Having someone else with their own understandings and bodies of knowledge is surely only going to be a good thing in these situations?

See, I know all of this! I believe in editing and the beta-reading form of editing, I do. I'm just new to the whole situation, that's all.
Loz Cola

On Pluto. The mysterious, icy wastes of Pluto...

Has anyone seen Breakfast on Pluto (2005)?

Directed by Neil Jordan, it stars Cillian Murphy, who you might know as the evil killer man from Red Eye, or the evil killer man from Batman Begins or the evil killer man quite sweet Pieter from Girl with a Pearl Earring. Um. This role is rather different. See, in this, he plays Patrick (Patricia) 'Kitten' Braden.

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