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The Art of Sims Storytelling

Comments

  • Nory_05Nory_05 Posts: 355 Member

    At the worst of it I hid the blog for three days, and it felt really nice to see a blank stats page. Because by that point I felt like every view was someone looking for something to put on Simsecret, looking for something to point out as wrong and horrible. Every view felt like an invasion.

    @MedleyMisty aw, that sounds nasty :( There are dedicated places where this is ok. It's a place where you submit your writing, and they will destroy it line by line. But even they don't do it in a hurtful manner, and whoever submits there, knows it's going to happen. They get line edits, advice and critique. So that's cool and all, but when someone just posts a sim story on their own blog, i don't see why it's needed. If i don't like someone's blog or story, i stop reading it, cuz "ain't nobody got time fo that!"




    I write completely and entirely what I want to write. It's just that once I'm done, I want to share it and have other people like it. I get confused when that doesn't happen and I get all insecure and I wonder if my writing isn't any good or if it's that I'm a bad person, and that's why people don't want the gift that I worked on so hard for them.

    [/quote]

    @CitizenErased14 I don't have many readers, but they are all really awesome and nice :)

    Yesterday was a big step for me. I never showed any sim story to anyone who know me in real life until last night, when i share my first finished detective story IRL. And i survived! :D
    My sim stories:
    Regrets (Finished)
    Abbie's Diary (Finished)
    Mistakes

  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    edited December 2015
    Nory_05 wrote: »

    At the worst of it I hid the blog for three days, and it felt really nice to see a blank stats page. Because by that point I felt like every view was someone looking for something to put on Simsecret, looking for something to point out as wrong and horrible. Every view felt like an invasion.

    @MedleyMisty aw, that sounds nasty :( There are dedicated places where this is ok. It's a place where you submit your writing, and they will destroy it line by line. But even they don't do it in a hurtful manner, and whoever submits there, knows it's going to happen. They get line edits, advice and critique. So that's cool and all, but when someone just posts a sim story on their own blog, i don't see why it's needed. If i don't like someone's blog or story, i stop reading it, cuz "ain't nobody got time fo that!"

    If it'd just been about the writing that would have been fine. Well, I mean, so constant vicious critiques in a public place by anonymous people wouldn't have been fine, but still. I could have dealt with it much more easily.

    It was constant vicious personal attacks and stalking and pulling out everything I said in the comments or even in the alt text for the images or on other blogs that they hunted down or even finding pictures in my Photobucket (which I locked down after I found out about that) and pulling it all out into public to point out how horrible a human being I was. And it was anonymous, which meant that I didn't know who it was, which meant that I couldn't trust anyone, and there were also other things going on at the time with fake "friends" who were just using me for social status since the story was popular, and well....there's a reason why I call it the Bad Times.
    Post edited by MedleyMisty on
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,326 Member
    @MedleyMisty Ouch, that sounds awful! Seriously, what is wrong with people? (Okay, a lot of things, so never mind...) I'm glad things are better for you now.

    @AdamsEve1231 Ooh, the way you take screenshots for your stories sounds awesome and in some ways kind of how I do it sometimes. Adding randomness from the game to a shot is fun.

    About the CC/Mods/Cheats: I use the basic cheats to hideheadlineeffects, move the Sims, take control of Sims I need to who isn't in the family I'm playing, and to very occasionally freeze their needs during a particularly challenging scene. I have a lot of CC for CAS, mostly because the vanilla game doesn't have enough the style of stuff I want (I seem to never have enough hippie/treehugger clothes and punky/gothic stuff). I do like to use the vanilla stuff a lot as well, though, and even with CC I like to keep my Sims looking... well, like Sims, and I don't try to shoot for TOO much "realism".

    I'm a newbie to poses, as I only started using them around chapter 2 or 3 of my current story. Before that all my SimLit stories were done with only CAS CC and some custom objects and the basic cheats to help me. I like the poses because they let me take the story to directions I otherwise couldn't, kind of like @InfraGreen said. I also like to use them to add variety to my pictures so that not every single Sim is for example sitting or standing in an exact same pose in a pic. I only recently added MasterController solely so I could change baby clothes. :D And so far that really IS all I'm planning to do with it. But yeah, it's all mostly for visual tweaking and I know I could tell stories without them if I wanted to. I prefer to circumvent some of the games limitations, but sometimes I do like to just use what the game gives me. Some screenshots I take without even interfering as a player at all.

    And about the elder Sims too: I actually added the grandparents of the main characters in my story because I realised I had no elder Sims in it at all and felt like I wanted more variety. I rarely play elders because I feel like they are unnecessarily limited in the game. But it's nice to have characters of different ages in the story. And it's great to have writers of different ages in the community!
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @RipuAncestor I've thought about it a lot, and talked to people, and googled things, and read books. And yeah, it's a lot of things that are wrong with people.

    One of them was insecurity.

    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?

    Other people's work doesn't really make me feel insecure, for usually, when I really like someone else's work, it's because it expresses a truth that I know which I haven't been able to effectively articulate or it expresses an experience that I've shared, and then I always feel like I've found my kin, which makes me feel so, so encouraged!

    What does make me feel insecure is when people respond to my writing with sarcasm--I just don't know how to take that. Or if I'm being sincere, and the responses seem to jab at the sincerity. And I feel insecure, too, when previously enthusiastic readers drop out. I know people can stop reading for all sorts of reasons--and I know that I myself often fall way behind on stories I absolutely love, knowing that I'll catch up through delicious binges--but those are the things that make me feel insecure. And this type of insecurity really has little to do with anything happening at the moment, and an awful lot with the triggering of feelings of exclusion and not being understood from childhood!
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • VIRTUALEEVIRTUALEE Posts: 2,507 Member
    edited December 2015

    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?

    Great question! Yes and no, it makes me feel insecure in that I am the first to claim I am not a professional writer and so everyone else has that advantage over me. However, other peoples work has inspired me to share the stories I have collected in my heart over the years. I want others to experience the plethora of feelings I feel when I read great stories, when they hear mine, but mostly I am in experimentation mode and has become a fun hobby :)

    On a side note, my second installment of cursed beauty has zero plumbobs in the pics LOL - so thanks for the tips everyone!!
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    CathyTea wrote: »
    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?

    Other people's work doesn't really make me feel insecure, for usually, when I really like someone else's work, it's because it expresses a truth that I know which I haven't been able to effectively articulate or it expresses an experience that I've shared, and then I always feel like I've found my kin, which makes me feel so, so encouraged!

    What does make me feel insecure is when people respond to my writing with sarcasm--I just don't know how to take that. Or if I'm being sincere, and the responses seem to jab at the sincerity. And I feel insecure, too, when previously enthusiastic readers drop out. I know people can stop reading for all sorts of reasons--and I know that I myself often fall way behind on stories I absolutely love, knowing that I'll catch up through delicious binges--but those are the things that make me feel insecure. And this type of insecurity really has little to do with anything happening at the moment, and an awful lot with the triggering of feelings of exclusion and not being understood from childhood!

    I feel you on that. I just right now this moment actually had a friend tell me they can't connect with Surreal Darkness, and well - rationally I know it's probably just a difference in personality, but my brain is all "Yeah, the story isn't any good and doesn't have any purpose, and you should probably just stop writing it, or actually just stop writing altogether, because you're not any good at it."
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    @MedleyMisty My response to the "insecurity" question is very similar to @CathyTea 's

    What makes me insecure is when I "lose" a reader partway through. What can make this especially awkward is that (obviously I won't name names!) at least one of my readers who seemingly stopped reading my story still posts here on the forums from time to time, so I know they're around. I keep wanting to message them and be like "Pssst. Remember my story?" but that would be both annoying and awkward (especially if their answer is "yeah, I don't like it anymore.")

    Another thing that bothers me/makes me feel insecure is when readers don't react to things the way I intended them to. Especially my characters. CathyTea will remember the day I got super defensive about that in the Writers' Lounge haha. I know not everyone will like every character, but when people say they don't like a character who's supposed to be likeable/sympathetic it really makes me wonder "what did I do wrong?!"
    snvAF3B.png
  • ra3reira3rei Posts: 2,418 Member
    For me others peoples work doesn't create insecurity, but more pushes me to write even better. I think, wow - that's awesome, I should spend more time writing/editing/planning/posing my stories too.

    I do get a little wobble of insecurity when I post something I think is awesome waiting for someone to read it...once I get a view or even better a single comment, that goes away. That's more just delayed anticipation - I think you'll like this so I wait until someone sees it...then I feel all better. It's like the feeling during the holiday when you buy someone the perfect gift and you're just bouncing in your chair waiting for them to open it. There's a tiny chance they'll hate it, but I try not to dwell on that.

    Then again...I'm not a very insecure person when it comes to most things. So perhaps not the best to resource on this subject. :/
    Check out Raerei's Fortress for Builds, Short Stories, and maybe some longer stuff.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    @MedleyMisty My response to the "insecurity" question is very similar to @CathyTea 's

    What makes me insecure is when I "lose" a reader partway through. What can make this especially awkward is that (obviously I won't name names!) at least one of my readers who seemingly stopped reading my story still posts here on the forums from time to time, so I know they're around. I keep wanting to message them and be like "Pssst. Remember my story?" but that would be both annoying and awkward (especially if their answer is "yeah, I don't like it anymore.")

    Another thing that bothers me/makes me feel insecure is when readers don't react to things the way I intended them to. Especially my characters. CathyTea will remember the day I got super defensive about that in the Writers' Lounge haha. I know not everyone will like every character, but when people say they don't like a character who's supposed to be likeable/sympathetic it really makes me wonder "what did I do wrong?!"

    I feel you on both of these points! I always want to ask, "Hey. How come you stopped reading? Don't you like my story anymore?" But that's just so weird and sort of rude!

    I also think that it's connected with blogging. I keep thinking back on the solitary writers of the 19th Century, who didn't know their readers, except for a few that they got letters from, and with whom they always fell promptly in love!

    There is something beautiful about being a solitary reader whom the writer doesn't know but yet who still feels this intimacy with the writer. I feel intimately connected to Jane Austen, a little bit to George Eliot, not much to D.ickens, very much to Alexander McCall Smith (just jumped centuries on you)--but how weird if I had a relationship with them, the way bloggers and readers have relationships. McCall Smith to me: "Um. Cathy. Do you realize I've put out about seven books since you last read? And why did you stop mid-way through?"

    Me: "Oh, Alexander! Do you like to go by Alex, Xander, or Sasha? Mr. Smith? You see, I had to read all of D.ickens. And then I got stuck in Shakespeare tragedies--I just finished them, so now I'm on the histories, and those should go faster, right? And there's this awesome Bulgarian novel I'm slowly reading, and I'm reading ALL this SimLit--what, you haven't heard of it? So, I've got yours waiting for me to binge on when the time is right, but before that comes Anne of Green Gables!"

    Anyway. Awkward.

    With the readers acting differently than we expect: this happens a lot. I think, Citizen, I might be one of those who reacts differently. I usually am!

    And I know that other writers can get really touchy about this!

    It's another aspect of weirdness that enters in when readers and writers are in relationship! I'm trying to learn not to blurt out my first responses, while still sharing enthusiasm.

    With my work, it's a lot like what @MedleyMisty says--friends or people I'm close to here read it and say, "Huh. Can't connect."

    But I am learning to see this as awesomeness!

    Here's why: it means that we are reaching in deep and writing from heart and soul, our own deepest core of experience. That's how I feel about Surreal Darkness, Misty. It's also how I feel about D2D, Citizen--D2D also is built around a plot, so that even if readers don't connect with the deepness of meaning, they'll still be engaged by the plot.

    With my fanfic, and with Goofy Love, I've started just writing out my soul--going into that deepest experience and perception and expressing it.

    And, yes, many others can't connect. I'm learning that doesn't need to interrupt a friendship or feeling of closeness and appreciation! And it also makes it all that much sweeter when the rare reader says, "Wow! This is exactly what I experienced and didn't know how to express!"

    It happens rarely--and when it does, it is so sweet.

    I guess--here's the thing. All of us, we're incredibly vulnerable when we write, for we're really sharing deep, deep stuff. We're not hiding it all behind fluff and sarcasm. So we then need to be brave, too. If we're going to decide to share this writing, we need to also be brave and realize that it's our work--it's us. We can protect ourselves, too, so that we remember the value that lies in our work, rather than getting hooked by that reader/writer relationship.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    ra3rei wrote: »
    For me others peoples work doesn't create insecurity, but more pushes me to write even better. I think, wow - that's awesome, I should spend more time writing/editing/planning/posing my stories too.

    I do get a little wobble of insecurity when I post something I think is awesome waiting for someone to read it...once I get a view or even better a single comment, that goes away. That's more just delayed anticipation - I think you'll like this so I wait until someone sees it...then I feel all better. It's like the feeling during the holiday when you buy someone the perfect gift and you're just bouncing in your chair waiting for them to open it. There's a tiny chance they'll hate it, but I try not to dwell on that.

    Then again...I'm not a very insecure person when it comes to most things. So perhaps not the best to resource on this subject. :/

    And because you're not insecure you give really awesome comments on stories! :smiley:
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • angelbearangelbear Posts: 127 Member
    I think the main problem that builds is that you mostly have more lurkers and less commenters, so when you get that one sarcastic or bad review/critique it effects you more.
  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    VIRTUALEE wrote: »

    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?

    Great question! Yes and no, it makes me feel insecure in that I am the first to claim I am not a professional writer and so everyone else has that advantage over me. However, other peoples work has inspired me to share the stories I have collected in my heart over the years. I want others to experience the plethora of feelings I feel when I read great stories, when they hear mine, but mostly I am in experimentation mode and has become a fun hobby :)

    On a side note, my second installment of cursed beauty has zero plumbobs in the pics LOL - so thanks for the tips everyone!!

    See, I get insecure when people claim that they are not professional writers. ;)

    It's just...like a lot of the hate that I took during the Bad Times was because people thought I took Sims stories too seriously, that I put too much effort and time into them, that, to quote one of the hate secrets I saw: "a plummy Sims story isn't art".

    So when people start talking about how you don't get awards for Sims stories, or how it's not professional writing, or how it's just for fluff and silliness, or how the Sims game as a medium isn't fit for anything but light stories, my antenna goes up and my brain says "Danger, Will Robinson!" Because I've learned that people who talk like that tend to not like me.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    I pretty much feel the same way as @ra3rei , viewing other works really just pushes me to improve my own, rather than get wilty-flower, or rage-quit, or decide I need to go on a re-writing spree to hide all my imperfections. Do I have insecurities? Sure, I think I already expressed them by explaining my sudden feelings that I was "doing everything the wrong way" and I just simply had to "get over that" because nothing productive is going to happen lingering on them.

    When I first started out, it was really discouraging, because my close friends simply would not look at my work. They couldn't care less. And I mean, these are my "I would jump in front of a bullet for you" kind of friends, my BFF and my little sister, people like that. I just had to come to an acceptance within myself that they were never going to read my work, no matter how much I wanted it to happen and no matter how much it hurt that they wouldn't, and move past that, and it had no reflection whatsoever on my work itself. Rather, these are people that just won't look past the fact that there are Sims in the pictures, and ergo, they think "Oh, you have to play The Sims, and we don't play The Sims, that's your thing, so we just can't enjoy this." It doesn't matter if I try to explain to them that unlike fanfiction, that sort of requires an understanding of the world or the characters of a fandom, The Sims isn't really like that, this is all original fiction, it is little more than providing illustration to a story that requires no special knowledge of The Sims, they just aren't going to read it because... it uses The Sims. That's why I went and found these forums, filled with people who play The Sims. People who understand. People who, at the very least, aren't going to judge based on the game. And that has actually been a very rewarding experience, as I've made so many new friends as a result.
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  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    @CathyTea I talked to her some more about it and she said that my writing was phenomenal and to not change it for her.

    It's just...it's hard. I talked to the spousal person at dinner. Also he had chili and chili just really grosses me out, but he said it was good. So I was like "Is that an example of how something can still be good even if someone doesn't like it?" and he said yes.

    Also, you know - I don't read comic books, because my brain just can't process them. It's not like I don't think that they can be art or that they don't have worth. It's just that my brain sees the pictures with the words in balloons and it's like "What? I do not understand." But I do get that they can be really good and that they can be significant art and that they do mean a lot to other people.

    Plus she said that she couldn't connect with Seth and that he reminded her of a bad ex, and I totally got that. Because Seth is twisted and dark and yes, he's a plum towards his wife Sarah. So...you know, maybe Surreal Darkness is like that for her too, and it goes to a place that she finds uncomfortable for her own reasons that have nothing to do with me or the quality of the work.

    The spousal person said that her reading level wasn't advanced enough, but I defended her. Because she is very intelligent, and he doesn't know her and he was just making assumptions based on his ideas of the average reader. But I guess he did have a point when he said that Surreal Darkness wasn't mainstream and that it wouldn't appeal to everyone - which he needs to get caught up on it. And he also needs to read my short story for the challenge.

    Does anyone else have family members who read your work? It's so awesome when he reads my stuff and he notices all the little details that are "me", because he knows me better than anyone, and I will always treasure the look on his face when he read the Fire, Death, and Alone trilogy of Valley chapters all in one go and then turned to me. ;)

    And I don't know how to be anything but vulnerable.
    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    It's just...like a lot of the hate that I took during the Bad Times was because people thought I took Sims stories too seriously, that I put too much effort and time into them, that, to quote one of the hate secrets I saw: "a plummy Sims story isn't art".

    So when people start talking about how you don't get awards for Sims stories, or how it's not professional writing, or how it's just for fluff and silliness, or how the Sims game as a medium isn't fit for anything but light stories, my antenna goes up and my brain says "Danger, Will Robinson!" Because I've learned that people who talk like that tend to not like me.

    Have you read my "Wrimmingfun as an Art Form"? I get so passionate about this! So much of the SimLit I've read is art (including Surreal Darkness).
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    I Rather, these are people that just won't look past the fact that there are Sims in the pictures, and ergo, they think "Oh, you have to play The Sims, and we don't play The Sims, that's your thing, so we just can't enjoy this." It doesn't matter if I try to explain to them that unlike fanfiction, that sort of requires an understanding of the world or the characters of a fandom, The Sims isn't really like that, this is all original fiction, it is little more than providing illustration to a story that requires no special knowledge of The Sims, they just aren't going to read it because... it uses The Sims. That's why I went and found these forums, filled with people who play The Sims. People who understand. People who, at the very least, aren't going to judge based on the game. And that has actually been a very rewarding experience, as I've made so many new friends as a result.

    One of my best friends is like this--she will even plug her ears if I start to talk about Sims, even if I present them as "characters in what I'm writing".

    She says, "Sorry. You just lost me."
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,187 Member
    @mastressalita @CathyTea It's kind of funny, when I was writing D2D, I called it "my story" or "my novel" whenever I talked about it. But I would never tell people it used the Sims to illustrate :lol: As I got near the end, I finally got brave and revealed to my friends that it was a SimLit story, and no one was (outwardly, at least :lol:) rude or judgemental, which was a nice surprise!

    Now, that being said, none of them actually read it either -_- Even though I heavily hinted to a few friends that I wanted them to check it out (and I even sent them the link!). They said "Oh cool, I'll try to check it out." and then nothing. :( I wonder if it was a text-only, non-Sim story if they would have been interested in reading... I guess I'll never know *shrug*

    Oh, and @MedleyMisty re: family members reading, the only person I know in real life who's read my story is my boyfriend. He did so with great reluctance, I must say :lol: He became like my proofreader. But he was always honest with me about the fact that Dust to Dust was not his cup of tea -- he likened it to a "chick flick" on several occasions :lol:

    Now, all that being said, you know what's funny? He gave me some of the best, most helpful feedback. Even though he didn't really LIKE the story (because of the genre, not my writing. He said that part was good :lol: And he really liked my wordless chapters) he knew how much it meant to me, and made a real effort to understand and appreciate my characters and themes so he could give me ideas and feedback. We'd actually get into long discussions about stuff like "How do you think Evelyn is going to react to X?" or "What would Lucas do if Y happened?" and he would give me amazing insights and talk about my characters like they were real people :lol:
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  • mastressalitamastressalita Posts: 2,874 Member
    @MedleyMisty : I only have one offline/local friend (I refuse to use that "in real life" term... I'm perfectly real and alive and using the Internet is part of my real life experience!) that will read my stories, but... he has family members that are longtime Sims players, and I think he played some of Sims 2 back in the day. I suspect that has a lot to do with why he didn't immediately throw his hands up at me like my BFF and my sister did. :-P
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  • MedleyMistyMedleyMisty Posts: 1,188 Member
    CathyTea wrote: »
    It's just...like a lot of the hate that I took during the Bad Times was because people thought I took Sims stories too seriously, that I put too much effort and time into them, that, to quote one of the hate secrets I saw: "a plummy Sims story isn't art".

    So when people start talking about how you don't get awards for Sims stories, or how it's not professional writing, or how it's just for fluff and silliness, or how the Sims game as a medium isn't fit for anything but light stories, my antenna goes up and my brain says "Danger, Will Robinson!" Because I've learned that people who talk like that tend to not like me.

    Have you read my "Wrimmingfun as an Art Form"? I get so passionate about this! So much of the SimLit I've read is art (including Surreal Darkness).

    I've read it now. :)

    For me, it's one thing when people who've never even played the game reject Sims stories without trying them. But when people who have been in the community for years and who write their own Sims stories and read others and who have invested years into them start talking about how Sims stories don't have any worth, I'm like "Huh? Why are you spending so much time on something that you don't think has any worth?"

    But I've been thinking about stuff like that for years, and lately I've been googling a lot about the whole "literary" vs "genre" issue, and reading conversations I find about why people hate what they consider literature, and I've also found a few essays from published writers talking about these issues, and I think in the end it comes down to how I grew up outside mainstream middle class American culture and so I didn't internalize its ideas about worth and respectability and social status.

    I guess Sims story writers who devalue Sims stories have internalized a lot of things about what has worth and value and what can be considered art, and so even though they do obviously subconsciously value Sims stories or else they wouldn't spend so much time on them, they feel like they have to devalue them because of messages they've received through their socialization and education.

    Like, yes, there are some guys, but the great majority of the writers and readers of Sim stories are female. One of the essays I found was from a female writer talking about how she'd internalized that only guys wrote Real Literature, and that the things that dudes value are much more important than what women value, and how in her first book she'd written about things that she thought the men who have authority in the literary fiction world would like and approve of. I think she phrased it as "writing towards men". So maybe some people devalue Sims stories because they're seen as a majority female thing.

    Also in a very capitalist culture, there are people who think that things only have worth if someone gets paid for them and/or they make a big profit. So that sort of person would devalue Sims stories because it's like omg what, something that is produced and consumed for free?! Must be worthless and a waste of time and effort!

    Then there are people who believe very strongly in Authority and gate-keeping, and they just assume that everything written by "the masses" online is awful and not worth anything, and that if your writing had any worth you'd get it approved by professional gatekeepers and published.

    There are some Sims writers and readers who've internalized all those messages, sadly. Like, @CitizenErased14 - when I was close to finishing Valley I had the same thoughts you do about D2D, about turning it into a novel. And like you, I knew I'd have to change a lot of things. I posted those thoughts on my LJ, and the next Friday night that entry was posted in a screenshot on Simsecret with the text "Get over yourself, it's not going to be published" scrawled over it.

    Which that definitely showed a lack of reading comprehension, as the troll appeared to be laboring under the delusion that I was going to just send the Sims story itself off to publishers despite all I'd written about how much work it would be and how much I would have to change and rewrite. But it also shows how even within the Sims community, people believe in, reinforce, and police others according to those internalized social messages about what forms of expression are considered as having worth.

    Sometimes the darkness and I tell stories.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 23,047 Member
    I refuse to use that "in real life" term... I'm perfectly real and alive and using the Internet is part of my real life experience!

    LOL! I'm the same! I always say "on this side of the screen" to refer to my activities off-computer. I guess the term "off-computer" works well, too! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,326 Member
    I'm usually kind of baffled when people try to narrow down the definition of art so much. Like the discussion whether video games can be art. I mean, why not? That reminds me, with SimLit that is kind of adds to it because besides being non-profit and usually put out in the internet, it also uses a medium (a video game) that in itself is questioned as art. Maybe that has something to do with it too? And @MedleyMisty gives a lot of other valid speculations for why people might not see SimLit as anything worthwhile. Although it's weird that people are still somehow thinking the writer's gender would have anything to do with whether the literature is "real". And I agree that it's kind of weird for people who actually invest a lot of time and effort into something to think it has no worth. Also, capitalism has been taken too far and I don't like it. And I'm going to keep my political statements few because they're not relevant now. :)

    Anyway, I think it's good that there are several people here, as seen in this thread for example, who do question these internalised social messages, because questioning something is usually where change can begin.

    And to another topic: I don't think any of my relatives or friends read my stories. I haven't advertised them to very many but I haven't been quiet about them either. I don't mind them not reading my stories, actually.

    Other people's writing doesn't make me insecure either. I like reading texts by different people and if I come across something good I usually am just really happy that there are skilled and awesome people out there who want to share their thoughts with people. Sometimes I might question my own writing and storytelling methods if some good writer clearly does things differently, but it usually passes quickly. I question what I do a lot because I think that I have learned to do it in a way that actually helps me figure out which of the things I do actually are worth improving and which are fine as they are.

    Oh, darn, I'm going to be late for school. My priorities are clearly showing here. :D See you!
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • ra3reira3rei Posts: 2,418 Member
    My mom will read my short stories - but I do send them to her in draft form which means without the pictures. I usually send her the link to the finished product, not sure if she's read them but I bet she will when I visit for Christmas. I can usually get people to read those since they take less than 10 minutes to read. My sister rarely reads something, but she's very kind and lets me babble to her all the time about sims which she has perhaps a 5% interest in. (She helped me make her simself).

    Other than that I only know one other non-digital friend who plays the sims and we chat from time to time, but she doesn't read simlit. I've given my blog out to some coworkers who game...since my blog occasionally showcases other game stories...but if they're reading I don't know about it. Luckily all of you read (maybe not my blog, but the simlit genre) so I'm in good company.

    Oh - and as someone who normally avoids "literature" I figure I'll just add that it's not that I hate it. I think there's only one book I've ever thrown across the room in disgust and that was a SF book. So when I read them, I do enjoy them. It's just that for the most part they don't call to me. Not the way a dragon, or a really interested alien race will seduce me into buying the book after reading half of the back cover blurb. I'm not going to say it's right that I avoid classics and modern literature - but I will say they tend to cater to 'careful' readers. Which I am not - I'm a full tilt race through the book not putting it down or stopping for anything reader. So I miss a lot of the language play and prose and poetry. That's not to say I require my books action packed. I was exhausted after reading Dan Brown since he never gave his character (and therefore never game me) more than a few hours to rest and recover before we were being chased again.

    I'm not likely to change my reading habits after 35 years. (okay fewer than that, I wasn't reading before I was five). But I do tend to try to read more classic and poetic works via audio book. I find I'm more likely to read them that way since I'm forced to read every word...or at least hear every word. Shrug.

    And now it's way past my bedtime....as @RipuAncestor said: priorities. :P
    Check out Raerei's Fortress for Builds, Short Stories, and maybe some longer stuff.
  • Nory_05Nory_05 Posts: 355 Member
    So...hey, that's a topic we could talk about in this thread! Does other people's work ever make you feel insecure about yours? If so, how do you handle that feeling?

    @MedelyMisty So far it hasn't really been a problem for me. I do admire some other writers' work and i even learn from them by reading their stuff, but i don't really feel insecure.

    What does make me insecure is when i later re-read my own stuff and i think: could i have done that differently? Would that have been better?

    I also feel insecure when i have to write emotional scenes.

    Losing readers in the middle of the story did freak me out in the beginning, but i know from my own example, that sometimes i just don't have time to read stories. I do it mostly on my phone during my lunchbreak, and for some reason in the past few weeks every time i read something on wordpress, it keeps crashing. So i was forced to not read. It's now the end of the year and work is just so busy, that i can't even sneak a peak at anything interesting while i'm working. :(


    Great question! Yes and no, it makes me feel insecure in that I am the first to claim I am not a professional writer and so everyone else has that advantage over me. However, other peoples work has inspired me to share the stories I have collected in my heart over the years. I want others to experience the plethora of feelings I feel when I read great stories, when they hear mine, but mostly I am in experimentation mode and has become a fun hobby :)

    Well, i spend quite a lot of time writing my chapters too, because i want to like them myself first, before i even think about publishing it. There's nothing wrong with that. There are way too many stuff on the internet that is badly edited (or not at all), badly written, etc. I don't see why it's a problem that i try to create something nice.
    It's kind of funny, when I was writing D2D, I called it "my story" or "my novel" whenever I talked about it. But I would never tell people it used the Sims to illustrate :lol: As I got near the end, I finally got brave and revealed to my friends that it was a SimLit story, and no one was (outwardly, at least :lol:) rude or judgemental, which was a nice surprise!


    Oh, and @MedleyMisty re: family members reading, the only person I know in real life who's read my story is my boyfriend. He did so with great reluctance, I must say :lol: He became like my proofreader. But he was always honest with me about the fact that Dust to Dust was not his cup of tea -- he likened it to a "chick flick" on several occasions :lol:

    @Citizenerased14 I never really told anyone that i'm writing anything, because i knew some of them would want to read it. Then I'd need to admit that it's full of sim pictures. My two detective stories (Regrets and Mistakes) are actually just simple stories, so if i took the pictures out, it would still make sense. I made up all the character names and town names, so nobody would know they are related to sims.

    But then two days ago, i showed it to my bf. He actually wanted to read it for a long time. He said he liked it. I felt really awkward while he was reading it :D But he also likes graphic novels and comic books, so at the end ended up complimenting me on the illustrations :D
    My sim stories:
    Regrets (Finished)
    Abbie's Diary (Finished)
    Mistakes

  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,326 Member
    edited December 2015
    @Nory_05 I also start to feel a bit insecure sometimes after rereading my stuff, but I have improved with that and can find the good things about my older work even when I see the room for improvement. Sometimes I do end up going back to something I've already put on the Internet and rewriting parts of it, though it's usually just very minor tweaking because I do tend to believe in most things I've written even when I feel like I have improved with time. Grammar errors and typos are always fair game for fixing for me, though.

    And while I don't feel very insecure with emotional scenes like you do, I do know what you mean, because I feel insecure while writing romantic scenes. Usually I avoid them altogether or then sneak them in in a way so I can approach them through a friendship moment that then develops into something else. Sometimes I go out of my comfort zone in that regard and boy, do I feel anxious about my writing then. And yes, I am going to add some romantic subplots to my Sims story later so if anyone here is reading it: be prepared. :fearful:

    Also about the professional writer thing: I am definitely not a professional either. Sure, I'd like to get something published through some channels, and I'm slowly working towards that. But as of now, nope, and I don't think it really matters, really. The only thing I can claim to have formal professional training regarding my SimLit is industrial design and graphic design. All that does is make me extra critical towards my photo editing and interior decors. :smiley: Then again, formal skills are just one type of skill, and skills that stem from experience and commitment, even if they are "just hobbies", are just as if not more valuable in many situations.

    EDIT: And I also don't mean that professional skills would be less valuable in general either. It really depends on the situation. In any case, if (when) someone here is a published or professional writer, then I think that is amazing!
    Post edited by RipuAncestor on
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
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