When my eyes start going wonky and I can't see well enough to paint, I like to indulge this ludicrous notion that I can write. I use a dark gray background with slightly less dark gray text magnified somewhere between 230% and 290%. This doesn't strain my eyes too much so long as I take frequent breaks and keep some ice cubes or cold water handy. I would rather not spend all day lying in bed like a speed bump while so much potentially useful time goes zipping past at the speed of life. I'm already 33yo. This shitshow is probably about half over and I don't want to waste the time I have left.
I love writing but the truth is, I'm not great at it. I think I could maybe, perhaps, perchance, possibly, probably have been good at it if I'd put my 10K hours into that instead of art. But I didn't and here we are. However, with my eyes wonking out on me every other day, I feel I have an opportunity to put some hours towards not sucking at writing.
During this latest attack, I decided to pick up an old writing project I started some time ago. It was AWFUL! I was so embarrassed about how bad it was that I cringed myself into a singularity at one point. *shudders*
It was prolix, meandering, and crammed full of prose so purple I couldn't read it without a blacklight. I'm pretty sure I briefly strayed into x-ray territory with a literal ENTIRE PAGE worth of description. I wonder if any other writers out there have ever been irradiated by their own purple prose. I mean, I could weaponize this shit and sell it to the military for fuck's sake. If we're ever visited by hostile aliens, just sit me in front of a laptop and I'll write at them. Hopefully, the resultant gamma ray burst doesn't incinerate the entire hemisphere.
I'M EVEN DOING IT RIGHT NOW! Probably 95% of the people who see this are going to "TL;DR" and fuck off because they don't want to get irradiated by my bullshit. I have this tendency to want to paint with words in the same way I paint with, well, paint
and by that I mean ALL OF THE DETAILS. ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE. DDDEEETTTAAAIIILLLLLSSS. Details
. By my reckoning, writing and painting have a surprising number of things in common but they also have a few differences that are vastly, enormously, giganto-fuckingly huge, among which is the way viewers absorb detail. In paintings, detail can be imbibed quickly and easily with minimal effort. In reading, the viewer has to FUCK. I'm doing it again! AAAHHHH.
Anyway, to the damn point (Jesus Christ, Bobbie Jean). I decided to try and fix my old project. I was enthusiastic at first but the longer I worked on it, the more I began to fear it was irreparable. Frustrated, I decided to start a new story. It was great! It hooks you immediately. Gets you asking questions. Makes you want to know what happens next. I didn't frontload all my description. Prose was descriptive yet minimalist. And I hit a wall because I couldn't stop thinking about my other project. I can't quite bring myself to let it go.
And I'm doing it AGAIN. Jesus. Alright, let me get to the damn cheese here before the remaining 5% of you decide to fuck off too, assuming you haven't already been purple prosed into nonexistence.
The only way I'm going to improve is if I receive input and critique from varying sources. Most of my friends and family think everything I do is goldplated perfection manifest. I can show them literal garbage and they will be like "oh my god you're so amazing and perfect! You're a goddess of creation!" That's great for the ego but it doesn't really help me improve. Everyone else I know either doesn't read, isn't interested in the kinds of things I write, or has no useful input beyond shit like "it's okay" or "not bad."
So, without further
ado, here is that old story I tried to fix: Word docs: Temporary post
For those capable of wading through not very good writing and ultraviolet prose that may occasionally stray into x-ray territory, I'd appreciate some feedback. If you don't have the time or the inclination, I won't hold that against you. If you do somehow manage to get through some of it or, gods have mercy on your soul, all of it, I'd appreciate a little feedback. I suggest reading it on a tablet if you can. It's about 8K words. Concerns I have:
-Premise is odd
-Main character is odd
-Hook isn't compelling enough
-Drags about the middle
-Ending isn't compelling enough
-Purple prose and overlong descriptions
-Not enough action
-Trying to un-frontload description may have created some confusing bits
-Sentences are occasionally a bit overlong Things I am not concerned about:
-Anything that can be easily fixed by an editor (grammar, syntax, etc)
-Having my feelings hurt. I can take blunt honesty and in fact, I prefer that, but there's no call to be an arse either. A polite but honest approach is preferred. Questions:
What is your overall impression? Good? Bad? Has potential? Light it on fire and never speak of it again?
What, if anything, did I do well?
What can I improve on?
Any other thoughts?