Willing to Learn

The Way Back Machine in my mind went crazy today, and I recalled a person who was once in a crit group with me. And that sparked the following:

Why is it some writers feel that their stories can be easily “fixed”? Simply follow some rules — for grammar, punctuation, formatting, and so forth, and you’ll have a great story. And — if you don’t get how to “fix” your writing, merely ask your fellow critters to do the work for you.

I had the misfortune of being in a group with someone who had lousy writing skills and instead of trying to learn to write better, merely wanted us to fix his stories for him.

However, even with good writing skills, one still needs to know how to tell a story. Cardboard characters, clichéd plots, obvious agendas and soapboxes don’t cut it. And this poor fellow fell into this category too. He couldn’t see the shortcomings in his storytelling.

Last I heard from him, he was grousing about a former crit partner of ours who had gotten published, calling him “lucky.” Despite being told directly what his weaknesses were by many people, he still seems to maintain his writing is fine as is. I feel sad for him.

All of this to share this tidbit: if one truly wants to succeed as a writer, the ability to accept critique and being willing to work hard to learn and improve one’s writing is vital.

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