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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Discussing Published Hooks & Books » Please Look After Mom, by Kyung-sook Shin

   
Author Topic: Please Look After Mom, by Kyung-sook Shin
Denevius
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It’s been one week since Mom went missing.

The family is gathered at your eldest brother Hyong-chol’s house, bouncing ideas off each other. You decide to make flyers and hand them out where Mom was last seen. The first thing to do, everyone agrees, is to draft a flyer. Of course, a flyer is an old-fashioned response to a crisis like this. But there are few things a missing person’s family can do, and the missing person is none other than your mom. All you can do is file a missing-person report, search the area, ask passersby if they have seen anyone who looks like her. Your younger brother, who owns an online clothing store, says he posted something about your mother’s disappearance, describing where she went missing; he uploaded her picture and asked people to contact the family if they’d seen her.

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Denevius
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First lines are notoriously difficult to write, but if you're having trouble crafting one, it's probably always a sure bet that if you put the jumping off point of the plot in the opening, you're starting at an ideal place.

What is this novel about? A missing person, more specifically, someone's missing mother. And then we get narrative tone, as it's not just 'mother', but 'mom'.

The first paragraph in this novel also immediately tackles what the goal is for the principal characters: to find mom. And how they go about achieving this goal: placing flyers around the Seoul.

You also see what's standing in their way. How does one go about finding a person gone missing? If the people searching for mom are older, as the paragraph implies since one of them owns an online clothing store, how does an ordinary citizen go about finding an adult, probably a senior citizen, who has gone missing? And then the mystery of how does mom end up going missing in the first place?

Many workshop openings lack these very ingredients, which is concerning since they're often for short stories. Putting what your character wants as soon as possible increases the chance of an engaging reading experience for any potential readers. Starting off the story at the jumping off point of a plot for a story of only a several thousand words is also essential. All initial actions for the opening lines should somehow revolve around the central arch of the narrative.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Denevius, what an interesting idea: critique your 13 lines first.

I wonder if it will be so pre-emptive that no one else will attempt a critique.

Looking forward to seeing if this sets a precedent that others will follow.

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extrinsic
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A start that sets out a tangible complication's want-problem starts story movement well enough. What's the novel really about, though, and does the start accessibly, artfully, successfully imply that?

A few clues hint at the novel's intangible complication, if the gist of the novel is known beforehand. Exposition's traditional meaning, set out, introduce, imply, express what a narrative is really about, exhorts such a development.

The start, though, falls short, and the novel does too in knowing what it is really about. The novel is a vignette of the demographic transition inherent to newly industrialized, developed countries, the transition from traditional rural agrarian culture to Postmodern industrialized urbanized culture, the quakes that that age-, generation-, and culture-divide chasm send through family and social life.

Vignettes appeal well enough; they are portraits of life in the times of the moment and, though specific to a particular culture niche, are universal to the human condition.

The novel is also a philosophical narrative: asserts a moral law. The asserted law herein is honor thy parents, mother most of all. Philosophical narratives appeal well enough and ancestor reverence is also universal to the human condition.

Plus, the novel emulates creative nonfiction's confessional prose aesthetic, the likes of Patty Smith and Anne Sexton, and confessional prose is less universal to the human condition.

The novel approaches the sentimental melodrama line, almost, not quite relies on plot pivots to move the narrative along. The four viewpoint voices, accusatory self-reflexive second person, vignette aesthetic, philosophical assertion, confessional form, and practical irony redeem the near-overburdened though shy of a too-far melodrama. Melodrama is a culture niche aspect, less yet of a universal human condition appeal.

Furthermore, the novel is bildungsroman: maturation narrative. Maturation tableaus appeal to the universal human condition, with attendant maturation growth, and the temptations and trespasses of arrested maturation development and maturation decline.

The novel entails deft method, message, and moral, though, in its practical irony portrait of demographic transition: lifeways changed dramatically due to industrialized urbanization; maturation growth comes at the cost of personal, family, and overall social loss; we are all responsible to and for each other.

The start and the novel fall short, though, in the greater appeal of personal moral truth discovery expression. The personal discovery journey story type is inherent to the vignette form. What new moral truth knowledge might a lost mother-wife entail to the several viewpoint personas? That traditional family life is dysfunctional? Perhaps. That mother is the pivot of family life and, ergo, selfishly attention seeking? That motherhood is a selfless identity sacrifice, abandonment of identity independent of family?

Therein between those polar opposites is a reconciliation of family and, consequently, social dysfunction: responsible selflessness and responsible selfishness and more. One must give care to the self in order to be able to give care to the common good so that the common good gives care to the self, and so on, and so forth. Nurture self, family, and society, not toxic caretaking for the self's promotion, and necessity for being central to others' lives long after offspring are grown so they support the self when the self is less able -- at others' personal growth expense.

That is a discoverable moral truth the start and novel falls short in implying or expressing. However, the novel is Postmodern: self-awarely questions and challenges presupposed notions of moral propriety -- without self-enlightened satisfactions of the questions and challenges, Postmodernism's shortfall.

A start exposition would strong and clear imply or express the journey into the personal moral truth discovery, opportune words like selfless and selfish, toxic, caretaker, codepenedent, dysfunction, guilt, shown not told, could imply what the novel is really about and not fully realized in the narrative.

However, the novel's portrait is of a second generation social-journey migrant's two-world straddle, includes the traditional generation and the generation that departs from the traditional -- and torn between and conflicted by the two. Third generations sever the traditional generation linkage. Not until the fourth generation are the desirable healthy social linkages possibly fully reintergrated and realized.

If a start misses expression of what it's really about, little likelihood a narrative realizes it by the end. Peculiar how meaning making sometimes realizes at an end of a composition what it's really about, though oftentimes doesn't. Rarer still, adjusts accordingly for the former's full realization of what a narrative is really about appeals.

I sampled large parts of the novel and know its like. Maybe I'll read the whole closely. I penciled it in on my to-be-read and analyzed list, for interlibrary loan. Meanwhile, Nell Zink's The Wallcreeper succeeds in the above aspects somewhat clumsily, about like Please Look After Mom, gets there in the start, the exposition, the middle, and in the end, if more closely read than the writers intend or realize. And also about like Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. Also, Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons, Joyce Carol Oates Firefox: Confessions of a Girl Gang, and Jonathan Franzen's Freedom are in similar maturation and personal moral truth discovery territory.

[ May 23, 2016, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Denevius
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quote:
I wonder if it will be so pre-emptive that no one else will attempt a critique.
Only if people don't realize that critiquing, or endeavoring in a constructive analysis of another's prose, helps their own writing much more than actually getting their stories critiqued does. Even if all you're doing is studying a perfect opening, there's a wealth of information to learn, and perhaps emulate, when you set pencil to paper for your own fiction.

quote:
The start, though, falls short, and the novel does too in knowing what it is really about.
What lessons do you think can be learned from the above sample that a potential writer can employ in writing an imperfect start that still achieves significant success?
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extrinsic
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The lessons of implication, symbolism, foreshadowing, and intangible complication introduction. Know at some point what a narrative is really about. Keep full realization in abeyance and further realization revelation advancement as part of story movement until a denouement.

That the novel is successful is not my point, rather that the function of critique is method, intent, and meaning analysis for writer growth. The novel is meaningful enough, only a realization degree or two short of full and potential greater success and realization. Though noteworthy the novel garnered financial, popular, and critical success; the true function of literature is persuasive social commentary and, ergo, social adjustment, thus, satire. The novel falls shortest in that area.

The spite-the-nose-to-favor-the-face library hereabouts had a circulating copy on hand. A day to read, a day or two to analyze, maybe my opinion of the novel will change. I doubt it; if the start and exposition act chapters don't imply what it's really about and to a transformative, unequivocal, and irrevocable human condition end, not much else could -- lack of complication development unity, start to finish, if nothing else.

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Denevius
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quote:
That the novel is successful is not my point, rather that the function of critique is method, intent, and meaning analysis for writer growth.
The function of critique is manifold. One is the analyzing of craft. The other is analyzing why a successful piece of writing is actually successful.

As writers, we're not writing to please ourselves. If that was the case, posting fiction in workshop would be pointless. And as writers, we're not writing to satisfy the arcane demands of literary enthusiasts. One can if they so wish, but their audience will be just that: literary minded enthusiasts.

I believe most people here write to be successful novelists. The above opening demonstrates a way to accomplish that by simple fact that it *is* a successful piece of literature. Understanding why and emulating what it does in one's own writing may help you reach similar levels of success.

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extrinsic
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What that opening does, in my estimation, as stated, is a melodramatic gimmick. Mom went lost and has been missing for a week. The family marshals full-hearted though scant resources to find her. Tangible-want problem expressed. What's missing that would enhance depth? Intangible complication -- more than guilt trips.

The worth of a writer who's been notable for thirty years is that followers know the writer gets to the point when the point matters. They begin knowing a promise a satisfying end is in sight and of a type that appeals to their beliefs and values and natures. They are the choir preached to. If asserting that point takes until the last sentence of a narrative, or sermon, that's what the reader base expects.

What the end is herein is a moral law assertion that targets Postmodern industrial urbanization for having no foundation in traditional beliefs and values. A similar narrative could as easily target traditional beliefs and values, as do Joyce Carrol Oates and others like her.

That dual dueling social politics galvanization furthers the social divide chasm that either mode projects intent to narrow or possibly mitigate those gaps. Nor is either approach anything fresh, and an end outcome that tapers off without a transformation. Though with emotional closure, which speaks about shortfalls of the narrative: emotional movement, plot movement, melodrama, no transformative movement -- a snapshot vignette of the life of a dysfunctional family coping haphazardly with their dysfunction.

Those are not methods I care to emulate, nor are they essential for publication success of whatever metric. I take from the novel more what I don't want to do than what I would want to do, not even for two million bucks.

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Denevius
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quote:
... nor are they essential for publication success of whatever metric.
They served this writer well, however, and it's worth studying the opening to figure out how and why.

The writer who doesn't understand how to move an audience is truly the writer writing for his amusement alone. The above opening is relatable, and it touches a core within many people. The lost of one's mother, for many, is a nightmare scenario, and so a bond between the reader and the read is formed.

When we write fiction, what are we doing to create an emotional connection to our readers? What are we doing to hit those emotional buttons that compels readers to turn the page?

When all is said and done, ignoring this lessens the chances of publishing success. All the clever wordplay in the world won't make up for a simple sentence that submerges the reader in a narrative universe.

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extrinsic
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Emotional charge immersion is the easier of the aesthetic distance features, relatability, familiarity, exoticness, and reading and comprehension ease too. The other relevant and most overlooked aesthetic distance feature is moral charge.

The title of the novel says what the novel is about on its surface, sure enough, and also contains an implied imperative, as second person is wont to do, that prescribes moral behavior. A lectured, parable-like sermon. The narrative's emotional strength, tangible complication movement, and four personal interior lives somewhat defuse the imperative, though, for me, overall, the narrative falls short of the intent it projects.

The intent and imperative are clear enough: honor thy mother. The shortfall is a matter of method, content, structure, and organization, and why honor thy mother, and that is a matter of the start's shortfalls in the first place.

Of course, the start expresses a clear and strong and evocative tangible complication, that of a lost mother, which is relatable for all of humanity, most for individuals who have lost their mothers.

The craft shortfall of the start and the whole, for me, is that the narrative doesn't set up for or satisfy the loss. Closure is not even satisfied; the novel tapers off to a new normal emotional equilibrium from attrition, no moral adjustment, and just ends with the tangible complication left unfinished.

Intangible complications are inherently of a moral value nature. If an intangible complication is satisfied, that overtops a tangible complication and satisfaction. The closest the novel comes to an intangible, a vice-virtue complication contention is, of the commonest resort, a vague matter of pride: the daughter's pride, the eldest son's pride, the father's pride, the mother's pride.

Humility is the diametric opposite, counter-virtue of pride vice. The novel, though, shows humility as a selfish vice, too, worse even than pride. The mixed message is Søren Kierkegaard's infinite, absolute negativity of unstable irony that rises to the occasion of toxic sarcasm. The novel mocks and ridicules dishonorable offspring, selfless motherhood, mother reverence, ancestor reverence, and Postmodern existence, though superficially revers family value tradition.

What's missing for stable irony, overall, is why motherhood is sacred. The why matter is what the novel is really about or attempts and misses, and the start fragment. The novel shows that tradition must be abided, not why.

For example, the ancestor worship rituals are just done because they are done, taken for granted as important tradition, not why they are done. That's the way they are, have been, and always will be done, because they are just done, except the next generation, the Postmodern generation, abandons them. Why are they done? What's their social and spiritual function? What is lost by their abandonment?

The start itself is a ritual of response to a missing person. The ritual, while it unfolds at the start and in the novel, entails a few modern trappings though is unchanged since ancient times and across the globe. Nor do any of the searchers petition to traditional spirits for help, which is universal, if even by nonbelievers out of despair. The why missing person rituals are done is superficially tangible, only that it is a natural response, not really why; that is, to assuage self-shame for allowing a family individual to be lost.

Again, why? Why not show rituals for what they really are? Social and emotional bonding adjustments is what they really are. A mother who nurtures only through physical sustenance and shelter misses the more necessary social and emotional sustenance of fellowship humans need to be complete, and the wisdom teaching thereof.

And why is tradition necessary? Perhaps, for the difficult challenges starts entail, the intangible complication matter is how to introduce the why tradition question out of which the novel seeks to make meaning.

The novel just says because tradition is tradition; Postmodern life is empty without tradition.

The novel itself revers ancestors, motherhood and mother traditions most of all. That's one of the larger appeals, of a guilt trip.

That dissonance clash between tradition and Postmodern existence has a satisfaction that the novel doesn't approach: both tradition and Postmodern existence and more together in a plural harmony. More than yin and yang, more than a duality duel, a harmony of why tradition matters in Postmodern times.

The start comes closest to expressing why tradition matters in this sentence: "Of course, a flyer is an old-fashioned response to a crisis like this." "Old-fashioned" out of date, not of any value because it is not Postmodern, is old and not spangly new. Tradition can go fly a kite. The opportunity to develop the why is defused by the next clause: "But there are few things a missing person's family can do,"

Between those two is an insertion point for a suspension segment. The first is a preparation segment; the second a satisfaction segment that is instead a gloss that defuses the suspension and inherent anticipation opportunity.

The suspension segment would set up the why tradition matters question that is inherent to the novel and the undeveloped intangible complication. The novel would then unfold accordingly and with little more than a few well-chosen words added and some others omitted, to an intangible complication satisfied. And would answer the question the novel implies: why should you, "Please Look After Your Mother." Not just because it is just done, or because she needs you, as you need her; because elders transmit the wisdom of the ages down through time through their offspring. That's why tradition matters. And with which Postmodernism lost touch.

At the root of the motherhood tradition is that all humans are born into a natural state of pure selfishness and need the nurturing hand of elder wisdom to become responsible, socially self-reliant, well-adjusted, and contentedly socially cooperative adults. Including mothers who would use that wisdom selfishly to promote themselves, their worth, at the expense of their offspring and their offspring's self-reliance.

The start and the novel seek the why tradition question and answer, though don't land.

Humanity is a social being species.

Why.

[ May 24, 2016, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Denevius
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quote:
Emotional charge immersion is the easier of the aesthetic distance features, relatability, familiarity, exoticness, and reading and comprehension ease too.
And yet so many writers fail at it.

Many workshop pieces I read lack the emotional connection in the first few lines, as well as most of the piece. Often times it's not until the end that the narrative eventually creates an emotional bond with the reader, when the writer has, usually accidentally, found a way to connect on a deeper level with the reader.

This opening achieves that connection in the very beginning, in the very first line. It's not one hour, or one day, but an entire week since their mother went missing. This is something that anyone can appreciate.

If genre writers could pull off something like this earlier, their prose would, and should, only improve.

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extrinsic
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Plus moral charge. Emotional charge without moral charge is superficial emotion for whatever genre category.
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Denevius
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You know, Extrinsic, for someone who enjoys quoting the rules on this site, it's amazing how you've totally ignored the fact that in this section, and I'll quote:

quote:
Topics here can start with a 13-line quote from the start of a published work and discuss what works and doesn't work about the opening.
Are all of these verbose replies about the opening I excerpted, are about the novel? This whole moral charge you're talking about. Is this in relation to the opening that's supposed to be being discussed?
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rabirch
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Honestly, this would not have drawn me in to read further. I am not a fan of second person. The second and third sentences feel out of order to me (or perhaps redundant).

It is certainly a relate-able idea, but that alone would not hook me into this book.

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extrinsic
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Yes, moral charge about the opening, and that its lack affects the whole novel. In any case, I have not ignored the relevant Hatrack rule, the whole rule.
quote:
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury Here at least:

Topics here can start with a 13-line quote from the start of a published work and discuss what works and doesn't work about the opening. Or they can be for discussion of other aspects of published books.

Italics emphasis mine.

Negative criticisms of critiques are uncalled for. They are opinions, one, and are impossible to argue against. Other reasons -- I won't go into.

"Verbose"? If I were motivated to write a review of the novel, by the way, I'd use the New Criticism school of thought that is a sibling of the writing studio workshop paradigm, though foreground the approach's moral charge analysis aspect more than method, as New Criticism is more often approached. I'd also use courtly irony that on the surface promotes the novel though dissimulates about its method shortfalls. The essay would run to 8,000 words, the conventional length of literary criticism journal articles that pay $0.10 to $0.25 per word.

The roughly 4,000 words I've thus far posted here is about half of such a finished draft essay. However, my experience is an analytical essay rough draft generates four times as many words as a finished draft. This novel affords a great opportunity to practice the critical arts.

And herein also why:
quote:
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury Here:
I submit that all writers should exercise their second-guessing abilities as often as possible because that will help them in their own plot and character development skills.

I do second-guess published writers. Why not? Might as well second-guess them, we who struggle, all writers anyway. Because that practice helps with my, anyone's, narrative craft skills development.

On New Criticism, that method vogue went by the wayside during Postmodernism's ascendance, as both literary movement and school of thought. Moral charge didn't go away, though, rather became a contrary yet central convention of Postmodernism. New Criticism's method, intent, meaning, and moral analysis, though, survives in writing workshop and critical analysis practices today and for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, I strive to journey past Postmodernism. It is dysfunctional toxin. Not to replace Postmodernism's poison, and nihilistic pessimisms, to transcend, mitigate, and reply to its toxic, unsatisfied questions and challenges. Postmodernism has had its turn. Time for fresh blood. Second-guess, indeed.

[ May 24, 2016, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Denevius
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quote:
Yes, moral charge about the opening, and that its lack affects the whole novel.
How do you know this when you've said, several times, that you never read the whole novel?

quote:
I sampled large parts of the novel and know its like. Maybe I'll read the whole closely.
quote:
A day to read, a day or two to analyze, maybe my opinion of the novel will change
Maybe before you talk about the "the whole novel", you might want to finish the novel first.
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extrinsic
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I finished the novel yesterday. ". . . library hereabouts had a circulating copy on hand. A day to read . . ." Past perfect tense "had." It's in my hands for the time being and closely read and analyzed now. Maybe one or two motifs more to connect the whole to its central theme. Not that there were any unanticipated surprises. If only . . .
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rabirch
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The truth of the matter is that no story, no opening, is going to reach every reader in the same way. What sings to me, may well feel overwrought to someone else. What feels like real emotions to me might signal melodrama to a different reader.

Studying the different varieties of approaches is certainly of value, but figuring out what works best for *you* as a writer (and reader, for that matter) is of paramount importance. Take what bits of other strategies that can enhance your strengths, and build up from there. Not everyone's end result will be the same. Nor should they be.

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Denevius
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quote:
The truth of the matter is that no story, no opening, is going to reach every reader in the same way.
Rabirch, don't worry about the dialog between me and Extrinsic. It's silly and not worth commenting upon. But since you're here, the opening. It wouldn't be so bad to comment on that since that was the purpose of posting it, if you are going to respond to anything.
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rabirch
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quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
quote:
The truth of the matter is that no story, no opening, is going to reach every reader in the same way.
Rabirch, don't worry about the dialog between me and Extrinsic. It's silly and not worth commenting upon. But since you're here, the opening. It wouldn't be so bad to comment on that since that was the purpose of posting it, if you are going to respond to anything.
I did, actually, about six posts up-thread.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
Are all of these verbose replies about the opening I excerpted, are about the novel? This whole moral charge you're talking about. Is this in relation to the opening that's supposed to be being discussed?

Denevius, are you critiquing a critique?
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Denevius
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quote:
Denevius, are you critiquing a critique?
This brought to mind a funny quote from Zoolander:

quote:
Mugatu Enough already, Ballstein! Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They're the same face! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Kathleen, I don't understand how you can look at how Extrinsic responded, and yet call me out. He's overly wordy to an obsessive degree, and he writes his statements as facts which kills any chance for an actual discussion. Threads on this site often die when Extrinsic responds for this very reason. He is *not* trying to encourage discussion. He is simply trying to lecture.'

He obviously does not care, and has no respect, for what anyone else thinks.

quote:
I did, actually, about six posts up-thread.
Ah, sorry Rabirch. You're right, I did miss this:

quote:
Honestly, this would not have drawn me in to read further. I am not a fan of second person. The second and third sentences feel out of order to me (or perhaps redundant).

It is certainly a relate-able idea, but that alone would not hook me into this book.

When Extrinsic is the main person responding, I enter skim-mode, and totally missed your response.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
He's overly wordy to an obsessive degree, and he writes his statements as facts which kills any chance for an actual discussion. Threads on this site often die when Extrinsic responds for this very reason. He is *not* trying to encourage discussion. He is simply trying to lecture.'

He obviously does not care, and has no respect, for what anyone else thinks.

You don't see what you're doing here, do you, Denevius?
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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extrinsic, I guess I am going to have to ask you to avoid Denevius and resist responding to him. I hope you will understand why.
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extrinsic
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Ms. Dalton Woodbury,

I don't care to shun anyone or be shunned because of personal sentiment reasons, though I understand and will abide.

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Grumpy old guy
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It's all right, extrinsic. I'll still play with you.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thank you, extrinsic.

I don't like to ask people to avoid other people, but sometimes that's the only thing I can think of doing.

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walexander
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Comments made that I do not agree with in the above topic discussion. Please remember this is only one writer's opinion.

"The true function of literature is persuasive social commentary and, ergo, social adjustment, thus, satire."

For me, good literature covers so much more, including enjoyability, to be brief.

"As writers, we're not writing to please ourselves."

Even though I do believe I have something important to say when I write I still get giddy inside when people read my work. Especially when I hit the mark, and they say they like it. So it's 50/50 for me.

"Emotional charge without moral charge is superficial emotion for whatever genre category."

This line doesn't work for me. Relationships are full of emotional charge without reasonable moral charge and I wouldn't call it superficial. This senerio is a plot point in literature like, Gatsby.


"He obviously does not care, and has no respect, for what anyone else thinks."

We all defend our opinions. We each get our say and start a new day tomorrow. There are no sides. We each critique in our own way. No one's opinion is more or less than another's, Accept KDW, it's her site. I still find E pretty mild in comparison to some of the actual responses I've received. Sometimes the worst is when you get nothing. Sometimes I take E's advice, other times I pass it by. It's part of our process as we become working professionals. I'm just guessing but to "Me" E wouldn't have responded if he didn't care. What makes forums good testing grounds is there diversity.

"extrinsic, I guess I am going to have to ask you to avoid Denevius and resist responding to him. I hope you will understand why."

Phrasing made me feel uncomfortable but thank you KDW for providing all of us a neutral place to apply our passions.

Den, thanks for posting that 13. It was my first experience at 2nd person so I can't really say what's good or bad about it. Just, it is a little offsetting from that perspective, but thanks again.

Peace,

W.

[ May 28, 2016, 02:21 AM: Message edited by: walexander ]

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Denevius
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quote:
You don't see what you're doing here, do you, Denevius?
It's true, I don't see what I'm pointing out is objectionable to you, while at the same time you can read Extrinsic's comments and feel that they are reasonable.

As I pointed out before, this is a funny game Extrinsic plays. He dishes out, but has proven completely unable to take it. He heaps criticism on prose, but doesn't post fiction himself, so avoids all criticism. All we get are these long replies of his, and to point out what doesn't work about them is considered objectionable.

He gets to stand above all of us as some type of teacher, and since the only writing of his we see are his replies, no one can critique any of his prose without being considered "critiquing the critique".

Year after year, he is *not* engaging in the spirit of workshop. Kathleen, what I don't understand is why you don't see this. And if you do, why, over the years, you've never commented upon it. Extrinsic criticizes, without accepting criticism.

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Disgruntled Peony
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Actually, extrinsic has participated in several of the 13 line challenges posted over the last year, and has accepted criticism on those happily.

None of us are perfect. You're allowed to disagree with extrinsic's opinions, just like he's allowed to disagree with yours. From what I can tell, it seems like you're taking forum discussions very personally (this is the second time in three months you've had a serious disagreement with a long-time member of the forum).

I'm not saying either of you is right or wrong. I'm saying that this is frustrating for all parties and no one gets anything worthwhile out of it.

Newton's flaming laser sword says it best: If something can't be settled by experimentation or observation, it isn't worth debating.

[ May 28, 2016, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Disgruntled Peony ]

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Denevius
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As I've advised you before, you're wasting your words in this manner by replying to these discussions. I'm not sure about you, but in the "last three months", I've written probably 12,000 words of new material.

You've complained about not having time to produce more fiction, but these small moments you use in something that should be unimportant to *you* add up over the day.

And then, you're not even responding to the opening above, which actually would be useful to your craft.

Ah well, it's your time.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I've noticed you make it a point to attack my participation in this forum every time I disagree with you. I don't see why my time management problems are of any concern to you.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Denevius, there is nothing in the registration requirements for the forum that says people can only give feedback if they are willing to receive it.

Your ad hominem approach to this forum tells me that this is not the best place for you.

Thank you for trying, but we don't need your attitude toward what we are doing here.

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