Extraneous Voices of Picayune > Tomes and Illusions

Thoughtful Speculative Fiction -- or, how the Citadel ruined reading for me

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Dossta:
First off, a confession: I stopped reading longer works for a couple of years, citing a host of the usual excuses.  I was going through college, getting married, starting a family, etc, etc, etc, and I "just didn't have the time."  During that period I discovered the Citadel and used it to get my "fiction fix".  Recently, however, I've stopped buying my own b/s excuses and have begun reading regularly, especially in the genres that I want to write in.  And you know what I found out?

You guys have utterly changed the reading experience for me.

I now expect my fiction to make sense -- on both the macro *and* the micro levels.  If an author introduces a concept or a bit of tech that was obviously not thought all the way through, I get angry at them!  I think this is because I've spent several years reading nothing but extremely detailed, well though-out world building by the authors on this site.  I'm looking at you Scras.  And you, valadaar.  And you, axle and Muro, Silveressa and Elbin, Shadow and the whole cadre of Moons -- and countless others whose work I have admired, but am too caffeine-deprived to remember at the moment.

Perhaps it has something to do with coming from a gaming/GMing background, but each and every one of you are capable of taking an idea and examining it from all possible angles, rooting out inconsistencies, bad logic and  bad design.  You inspire me.

So yeah, just keep doing what you do.  And thanks for writing stuff for me to read. :)

MysticMoon:
Interesting you should say that. Before I found the Citadel I was looking for a pure fiction writing group; the idea of writing for and about games had never occurred to me. I live in a rural area so getting together a good group of people I could work with was not an option. My first forays into other sites did not go well. This is the first place where I felt like I could get brutally honest feedback delivered without judgement and be comfortable enough to be myself. I feel like I have grown as a writer and that I can continue to grow here. It's a cool but unexpected experience.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that many of you are as nuts as I am :D

mrcelophane:
Similar things started happening to me.  It's one of the main reasons I came back.

The skills the Citadel teaches go beyond writing as well.  In Business and Leadership positions, I often am the one picking apart every idea trying to find its weakness so as to make sure everything goes as planned.

Shadoweagle:
Hah! Its funny you mention that; I started here from a google search 2003 (Holy s**t, 10 years!) because I used to go to an online chatroom called 'The Keep'. I was young and naive at the time and when I found this place I thought 'ah sweet; I'll post up one of my characters from the keep, they'll love it!'
I promptly got slammed in the comments: Overpowered; didnt make sense; poorly written; cliche!
Rather thank skunk away with my tail between my legs I got angry! I decided that I would show everyone here that I was capable of producing decent work! So I remade the character with the criticism in mind, and got marginally better reviews. Since then I have worked on originality, content and storytelling and the strolenites saved me from a cursed life of munchinism! I never would have known how terrible I was if not for this site!

Nowdays im proud to say i can produce some half-decent material, and i attribute 100% of that to the strolenites who critiqued my work so expertly. (Including the early members! Manfred, Kassil, Agar, Strolen, Ria, Capn Penguin, Scras, Muro and Dozus to name just a few!)

And I know what you mean about wanting things go make psuedo-sense too, Dossta. For example, im currently making a sand dragon which fires lightning (not terribly original I know!) and through writing it I thought 'wait, the strolenites are going to want to know how that works! So I've ended up devoting a section in the sub to how it is able to generate electricity and store it until it is ready to be discharged in a weaponized form!

Being a Strolenite is not easy work, but I'll be d**ned if it isn't rewarding!

Scrasamax:
 :D :up:

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