Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG October: DON'T WATCH WITH ME



October IWSG: and my birthday month. Know what my birthday present this year is? Know what, know what? Ok, I'll tell you. New season The Walking Dead starts Sunday, October 11. Scrrreeeeaaam!!! Just for MEEE hahahaha

But seriously, this month I'm not going to expound on my own writing insecurities, as there are so many, the biggest being I'm not sure I will ever write anything publishable again. I have too many story starts, and nearly finished projects, and so many more procrastination projects. Typical  writer anxieties. Nothing new here.

Lately I've been watching TV and movies with people (no, not something I usually do). Things I don't normally watch, or stuff I've seen over and over during the summer since all my normal viewing is on season break. Even some movies I've wanted to see, and now that I'm not working during the day I can hit some tight-wad Tuesday theater times. With friends/family.

They really don't like to watch with me; a writer, aka story teller. If there is a plot hole to be found, trust me when I say, I'll spot it. You can shush me during the show (unless its soooo obvious I'm sure even the most unobservant can't help but take note) but in the discussion afterward, I'm a Siskel and Ebert wannabe critic.

Friends/family that enjoy reading the same books as me never ask my opinion of the story either. Cuz, I'll tell them exactly what I think of it - the good and the not so good. The disappointments. The obvious plot or story or character holes. When I discuss a book or movie and say nothing but good THEY of course look at me like I'm just saying what they want to hear.

And I have to wonder if I will ever write a story that I don't edit forever, or don't write an ending to because I know it has to be missing something. Some, minor point I forgot to flesh out, or a detail I mentioned in one segment and ignored in a couple paragraphs later. Something I didn't explain, like the movies/shows I watch or the books I read.

Do you have an overactive external critic as well as an internal critic?

Be sure to visit other IWSG participants on the linky here; and thank our host Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. This months co hosts are:  TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Farris, and Eva E Solar.

And don't forget to polish up those submissions for the IWSG anthology. Deadline is Nov 1; coming faster than you can blink into a wormhole.

47 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm critical and a perfectionist when it comes to my own stuff. (Especially my music. I don't care if no one else heard that wrong note - I did.) I'm able to flick it off and just enjoy other things though. I will note the mistakes and the plot holes, but if I'm entertained, I forgive. Again, probably more picky with music. Another reason I listen to prog rock - it's complex music by top notch musicians.
Maybe you need to find that spot where you can just relax and enjoy, especially with your own writing.

Elsie Amata said...

Hooray for the new season of TWD! Did you watch Fear of TWD? I loved it even though it was a slow build, it was interesting to see the build up. There are some books and shows I will watch even if they have plot holes. Others…not so much.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I hate it when my inner critic comes out and I start noticing what is wrong with a book or movie. I always catch when things are moved or misplaced in a scene. I try not to mention it though.

TBM said...

I'm a history nut and when I watch a history show that has something wrong I can't stop myself from launching into a lecture, so I understand. At least we have passion.

Melanie Schulz said...

I'm with you, I can't turn that internal editor off.

Pat Hatt said...

If it is a glaring pot hole I will point it out, otherwise I can usually forgive it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - I'm always looking out for new things to blog about, or get irritated by bad grammar, or things spelt wrongly .. or or or ... I can't overload my brain though - it's choc-a-bloc already!

Cheers and I know I should edit my posts more ... all the best Hilary

David P. King said...

I used to be overly critical of movies, but have somehow relaxed on that end. If I'm entertained, I'm happy. :)

Lisa said...

My problem is not "getting" emotionally involved anymore with the movies I watch, because of the inner critic. I LOVE movies. Some I watch every year just because I love them so much. But I do find myself critiquing everything anymore and that can be a pain sometimes. Hasn't stopped me from watching movies though!

Juneta Key said...

My internal critic never shuts up. I try to monitor my external critic in order not to be perceived in way I do not want, or might not be my truth---however, sometimes mouth runs away with me and hits that train anyways, lol.
Juneta Writer's Gambit

Olga Godim said...

At some point, you have to kill your inner critic. He is a pesky little fellow. He has his uses, but there comes a moment when you have to say, "Good enough," and muzzle him.
I write for a newspaper, and every article is on deadline. I have to strangle my inner critic when my deadlines approach, otherwise, I'd never finish a story. None of my articles are perfect, but they're published, and I get paid. I guess that's good enough for me. Journalism is a great teacher that way.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I actually have an underactive critic much of the time. I'm pretty good at shutting off the analyst/critic when watching a movie or reading a book for fun. Given, I still usually know whodunnit early on, and I do see the plot holes. It's just that unless they're awful and I can't continue to suspend disbelief, I'm willing to ignore them, at least for a bit.

You'll get those stories done! I also have a bunch of unfinished stories I need to finish up. I've made it my goal to finish at least one by the end of this month so I have something fresh to turn into my critique group.

Julie Flanders said...

Yay for TWD! I can't wait for it to be back. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I did that whole thing quite a bit when I first started writing. Eventually, I just lost interest in movies. Although I preferred romantic comedies and there aren't so many of those anymore...so maybe that's why? I do know movies lost their entertainment factor for me after reading and writing for a while.

Botanist said...

Oh yes! Inner critic cannot be switched off, though he might be silenced for a while if the movie or story is doing a good job of keeping me entertained. Otherwise...look out!

Denise Covey said...

I have to wonder if I will ever write a story that I don't edit forever. Hmm. Did you write that or did I? That's so me. Trouble is the story can always be improved. I find it difficult not to find things that need editing even in best sellers, so what hope have I?

I'm sorry you're not writing anything. It's the hardest thing to get finished. That was why I was so pleased my vamp story just kept writing itself. (And that isn't the story I was talking about in my IWSG post, Donna!)

Happy birthday for the 12th, I think it is. Mine's tomorrow! Happy birthday to us, us, us!

Denise x

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, I pull shows apart, correct the grammar, comment on the silly plots with gaping holes. I just can't help it. Luckily my friends know what I'm like and still watch movies with me regardless ;)

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Sounds like perfectionism. You might have to kill that sucker! :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

I hear ya about the inner critiquer. I'm working to try to set that aside when I read someone else's stuff. Unless the error is glaring, I'm doing pretty good. I love the list of eight things Neil Gaiman gave once, especially #6 from this list.

Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

Good luck!

https://www.writingclasses.com/toolbox/tips-masters/neil-gaiman-8-good-writing-practices

Ellie Garratt said...

Like you, I have numerous projects ranging from an idea to nearly finished. Every time I think about one of them, the usual insecurities kick in and I convince myself to spend time on something else. Whereas I should just finish something and publish it.

As for watching films or TV shows, my family and friends politely tell me to shut up. They know my inner critic can't help but find faults!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have some of the same problems but I can still enjoy movies and TV despite the critic. It gives me more difficulty with books. Just read one with such a disappointing ending I'm not going to review it because I can't write the bad review it deserves.

SA Larsenッ said...

Happy Birthday! And that is a fantastic present. So the rest of this post (as much as I hate to admit it), is so like me. I can't read a book, view a film, or watch a television show without pointing out holes or how they could have done this differently or that. Ticks my family off. :) However, when a piece is done well I will give just praise too.

Loni Townsend said...

I manage to keep my inner critic from getting out most of the time. My husband is worse though, and he doesn't write. He once read the beginning of my story and said, "Hey, I can actually read this now and not be afraid of you breaking down into tears when I tell you what I think." I was all, "Gee, thanks." I suppose that's a hefty compliment coming from him. :)

Lexa Cain said...

Happy Birthday!!! And I totally have an overactive outter and inner critic. I have to be revising my newly finished WIP now. But I'm scared... It won't end up being good. I won't be able to see all the flaws and fix them. Instead of improving it, somehow the revision will muddy it up more. People won't like it. Easier to cower in the corner and not work on it--then no one can judge me.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh my gosh. My husband, who is one of my Beta-readers and editors, is a total critic. He loves the Walking Dead too and is super excited. Thanks so much for your advice on my synopsis. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

Happy Birthday Month!

I try to keep my critic's voice to myself. Or at most with other writers. Sometimes I'm successful at doing that :)

A Beer For The Shower said...

So you're the one who I have to thank for bringing back The Walking Dead.

We're both harsh critics because we're perfectionists, but with that said, if either of us go see something like a dumb action movie, we know how to shut off our brains and just enjoy. I mean, there's no point in trying to dissect every single flaw and plot hole in a Jason Statham movie (the same movie where he's jump starting his own heart with a car battery, for example).

Cherie Reich said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

It's really hard to let a manuscript go, to know when it's done and ready to be published. It's all to easy to edit a work to death too. We are human and no human is perfect, so no story will ever be perfect either. There will always be a typo or a plot hole or something that will not be perfect. The good thing is most readers read for enjoyment and if the story is good, they will forgive a lot.

Chrys Fey said...

Happy Birthday Month!!!!! :D

You want to know something funny? All these years since The Walking Dead started, I never watched it. But I've been curious enough that when I heard about the marathon, I started watching it and I'm hooked! I want to get the seasons on DVD and I'm looking forward to Sunday. :)

I think editing forever comes with the territory.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Personally, a great movie gets my writer juices flowing, more so than a good book. I write like I'm watching a movie, maybe that's why I love them so much.

As writer's we need good, constructive criticism, you'd make a great critique partner or beta reader.

J.L. Campbell said...

It's hard being a critic and a perfectionist rolled into one. It's hard knowing when you're done and letting go is another story.

cleemckenzie said...

Getting the story perfect is always a worthwhile goal. Of course, that's impossible and really not necessary, but--like you--I can't stop trying to make it so.

Jeffrey Scott said...

I certainly know what you mean about continually editing something. The short story series I've been talking about this month is a prime example. Not only have I been off/on working on it for 30 years, I also have about five or six rewrites of the same story. Sometimes it takes awhile to get it just right, but when you do finally get it, it works. I think I've finally gotten to the point where it's what I want it to be. As for publishing? Well, have to keep trying. You are one up on me, I haven't so much as had a poem published in a magazine. But still I plug on. And if you are any sort of writer like me, will never be able to give it up.

Keep up the good work. You can do it!

alexia said...

I am terrible to watch a movie with. And it's not just the writing - I comment on acting, filmography, pretty much whatever. My mouth just pops open and I say whatever throughout the whole thing. It irritates a lot of people :)

dolorah said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. I hope to visit every one of you. I've been busy this week, and will be out of town next week. Have a good weekend all.

Christine Rains said...

Happy birthday, fellow Libra! :) I can't wait for tomorrow night for The Walking Dead. I have a huge internal critic, but I don't often say anything out loud (except to my husband!).

Medeia Sharif said...

Happy birthday. I keep the critic inside my head. If something I'm watching is really bad, I'll open my mouth.

Carol Riggs said...

Happy birthday to youuuu, and I hope you had a great one as I instructed you on Facebook. Ah, the internal critic...yeah, I think all writers have that plague to some extent, and it often manifests itself as an external critic in things we read or write (or watch). It's HARD to shut that off long enough to get something productive done. (We have to get something on paper/document file first, before we can revise the heck out of it!)

DEZMOND said...

just dropping over to wish you a happy belated birthday, Donnzie :) I wanted to do it at Facebook, but my net crashed and I'm doing it now :)

Jay Noel said...

I have to turn off that critic whenever I watch a movie, tv show, or read a book. It drives me nuts to notice stuff instead of just enjoying whatever it is.

Nick Wilford said...

It's really easy to overanalyse stuff like that if you're a writer and it can get quite annoying. But hopefully, we can learn from it too. You shouldn't overly compare your rough draft stuff to published/out there stuff that's been polished and edited. You're a great writer!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donna,

I know about FOREVER editing stories.... That all I seem to do. I can't seem to MOVE ON! And I need to at this point.

You're a real trooper, Donna, you'll write again.... you ARE a writer....

Deniz Bevan said...

Happy birthday month!

I'd watch with you because i'd be exactly the same way :-)

Crystal Collier said...

I'm a total critic, but I've stopped speaking out loud because I really do enjoy the social aspect of movie watching. On books though, I will totally spill, but only in person.

M Pax said...

Ah, we are fellow libras. :) I used to analyze everything to death, but I gave it up and enjoy if I enjoy something. But if the errors in a story are glaring, I have to point them out.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

What did you think of the Walking Dead premiere? That was the biggest episode ever! so many zombies.

dolorah said...

Michael: in the words of the little boy on the trike from The Incredibles, THAT WAS AWESOME!!! So many zombies. I watched The Talking Dead after and was not surprised to learn they used CGI zombies; but there were still over 300 live bodies in that mass. I was so happy that they explained how Alexandria community remained relatively free all that time. So, ya think its the Wolves blaring the horns?