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Author Topic: Thoughtful Speculative Fiction -- or, how the Citadel ruined reading for me  (Read 419 times)

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Offline Dossta

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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. :)


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Offline MysticMoon

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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
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Offline mrcelophane

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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.
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Offline Shadoweagle

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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!
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Offline Scrasamax

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 :D :up:


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Offline MysticMoon

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Outside of direct comments on my subs, I've learned quite a bit from conversations in chat. I had no clue just how cliche, predictable, and overdone many of my ideas have been until I ran some of them by others. Echo in particular never pulled his punches :) Muro and Mourn, of course, are a great tag-team when it comes to pushing me a little farther out. They, and others around here, have saved the world from some of my weaker ideas.

I know there's been a drive to make things a little gentler for the newer members but it seems like there should be some way to say, "here's my stuff, now tear it apart and make me fix it."
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Offline valadaar

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Add a comment to that effect would the simplest way I would think.

DeviantArt has a 'Detailed Critique Requested' flag. Maybe something like that would work as a formal mechanism.


« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 11:03:57 AM by valadaar »
   
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Offline mrcelophane

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Add a comment to that effect would the simplest way I would think.

DeviantArt has a 'Detailed Critique Requested' flag. Maybe something like that would work as a formal mechanism.



Good idea, just did that in the Author's notes for my newest post.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Bad Writing is Bad Writing.  The more writing I do, the fewer pieces of fan fiction and non professional writing I can stomach. 

GMing and Gaming requires you to actually have pieces that make sense, work together, and can be reversed engineered RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.   It sets a standard for completeness that an author does not need.  AFter all, he can make sure his character "never need to go over there", "never want to go over there", or "already kinda know about "that"".  We do not have that luxury.  Some player is going to want to "go over there" or "want to learn about X" if for no other reason than to force the GM to scramble for a satisfactory answer or draw new parts of the map. Our audience is demanding.   
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