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Sylvan Glade Tea Party

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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    @SnuffyBucket I know you've told me this before, but it is so interesting that you have everything in a single document and just move the chapters around within that. I have never thought of that approach, but it makes a lot of sense!
    printed them all out and muddled them up, generally trying to make the story as tangled, complicated and frustrating to write and read as possible. ;)

    I have this vision of you in my head cutting up pieces of papers and then randomly drawing them out of a hat and laughing diabolically. :D

    Any examples of what ended up getting randomly thrown in? I get curious about that kind of thing :)

    @lone_cat I LOVE that you wrote your story 3 years ago, and that it wasn't even Sims 4 specific at the time - that explains a lot because I always feel like your lore works so well as a standalone thing of its own without any of the established game mechanics and that it could just be a regular book about Hailey that's not sims related. Maybe one day it will be :) Although I'd miss the screenshots (especially the Freezer dream gold).
    so I can drop hints to who it might be or red herrings to mislead.

    Wait, red herrings?! I will be so paranoid about all the clues you give us from now on :D

    @_sims_Yimi I never would have guessed your writing approach is similar to mine, I always thought you write first and screenshot after! Definitely not complaining here, anything ending up in Marcus Flex getting his bum kicked I approve of (I have an irrational hatred for the poor dude).
    Or even how to properly place sims outside the boundaries of where EA allows them to walk in the neighbourhood.

    Is that something you can actually do? Because if there is a way, I'd love to now!
  • SnuffyBucketSnuffyBucket Posts: 569 Member
    @_sims_Yimi
    Oh yeah, all the time, especially now I'm into the later chapters... I just leave those bits as walls of text, or get a face close-up/scenery shot and gloss over it.

    @ThePlumbob
    It wasn't quite that random, haha. I was originally going to tell the story in order, but then I thought I'd add a bit of mystery and shake it up a bit, so put the start-ish at the end-ish then had to juggle things in the middle to make it flow. It did involve cutting up paper. I probably did laugh diabolically.

    Any examples... It's mostly snippets of dialogue that come to me randomly and I'll stop what I'm doing and scribble them on my arm. Oh, the kid winding up Faith in the cinema in Midnight Snack wasn't originally written in, but he just wouldn't quit and gave her the 'aggravating conversation' moodlet which cracked me up. I wasn't planning to have Melinda get anywhere near Paul until he randomly changed into his boxers in Real Drinks. Once I'd seen him like that, I had to change the whole second part of that chapter and tweak a few subsequent chapters, because it caused me to almost emotional death from hysteria. There are a few in the upcoming chapters. And I've had loads of fun with the news stories. ;):D
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    Almost Eternal
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    _sims_Yimi wrote: »
    Question. I might have asked this question to some of you already, but how do you all prepare your chapters? Do you write first, and take pictures after? Or take pictures first and write after? How much do you plan out what happens in the chapter? Bullet points? A detailed schematic? Doodles on a napkin? Or is it all strictly in your head?

    I don't know if I should answer this. My method is the most throw-away of all because it was strictly all in my head.

    I think I've told some of you that I never intended to write a story. Only when I played my legacy fam into almost Elder status did I realise how interesting this generation was and decided to chronicle them on wp so I won't forget. Season 1 had absolutely no note-taking or written pre-planning. It's a lot of improv while staying true to some gameplay events.

    I write first, then take pictures. After I learnt how to make poses and found the tool mod, the sky became the limit. I do rewrite a lot because some scenes are just not possible unless I dedicate full time to writing stories.

    For season 2 I tried the note-taking method/flowchart/outline anything. There's a lot of benefits but I don't know how you guys do it. It feels so rigid for my brain that wants to take the story in the opposite direction the next day. So at the moment I'm sticking to having a few huge plot points in my head and letting the rest come to me during shower moments. I'm determined to at least do outlines so I'm persisting for now. :lol:

    @ThePlumbob @_sims_Yimi
    I think my description of how I'm trying to plan season 2 is a hybrid of your methods. I think it's great because it allows me to see the forest instead of the trees. So I'm going to keep trying even though my brain protests the entire way.

    @ThePlumbob
    I generally get random conversations between characters (that aren't going to happen till way in the future) cropping up so I try to jot them down (or at least the gist of them) if I can as anchors for future reference, although I sometimes don't use them if they don't feel right by the time I "get there."
    Ooh, you must know your characters very well for them to yap in your head like that. Mine are scenes and are focused on actions than conversations. :)

    @SnuffyBucket
    I started with an idea that just wouldn't die, so wrote a very brief plot outline. Then I went through the whole story in my head and wrote bullet points. Then wrote around each bullet point until I pretty much had a novel. Then I added page breaks where I thought chapters should be (these are prone to change), printed them all out and muddled them up, generally trying to make the story as tangled, complicated and frustrating to write and read as possible.
    Woah... I'm amazed. My organisation skills are non-existent. One day I'll get to this stage. Maybe? :lol:

    @_sims_Yimi
    I do often hit the roadblock of what I want to show just… not being possible in the game. I still don’t know how to make pretty underwater screenshots. Or how to fling people off a cliff. Or even how to properly place sims outside the boundaries of where EA allows them to walk in the neighbourhood.
    I use the coordinate method on Tool mod to place sims and objects out of bounds. Give it a go. I'm not sure which version of Tool mod you're using. I can only assume you're using Tool 2.0.1. That's the best one I've used so far.

  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    @mercuryfoam Honestly when you first told me you've written B2W season one with no notes, I was in awe. I still can't comprehend how you can do it and remember/keep track of everything. It's amazing. No need to change that method if it works - which it clearly does!
    For season 2 I tried the note-taking method/flowchart/outline anything. There's a lot of benefits but I don't know how you guys do it. It feels so rigid for my brain that wants to take the story in the opposite direction the next day.

    I mean, if it wasn't super spoilerific I would totally show you my notes to reassure you about how messy and non-methodical they are haha. I don't really think of them as a rigid framework I have to stick to at all cost - some of them i have just thrown out of the window completely. It's more like a safety blanket, so that I know that if I get lost, I have something to hold on to to get some kind of footing - and it lets me get things out of my head instead of hyperfocusing on them. When i do write I kind of skim over the notes and outlines, but often i don't even fully look at them.
    Ooh, you must know your characters very well for them to yap in your head like that. Mine are scenes and are focused on actions than conversations. :)

    That's why you're so good at writing action sequences! Yes, my characters are all about the yapping (some more than others, as I'm sure you can imagine). They especially like to do this when I'm about to fall asleep, so I have to get up and scribble stuff down because otherwise I'd inevitably forget.
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 417 Member
    @mercuryfoam
    I am very impressed that you wrote B2W with no notes. Also, really impressed that you create poses on top of writing. I tried my hand at creating poses and I didn't have enough patience for it.

    Oh yes, and the Tool mod is a timesaver for posing. I use the elevate and rotate functions a lot.

    @ThePlumbob
    I have thought about converting it to a book, maybe as my writing improves I will eventually turn it into a book. I think it would fit pretty well into the urban fantasy genre. I think the hardest part would be coming up with the setting. It's nice with the sims 4 because the setting is already there and you don't have to describe too much. In my story, the towns in the game correspond to real-life locations, just so I know approximately how long it takes to get from point to point because I like having things mapped out ahead of time. But I don't know if I would use the same real-life locations if I wrote it into a book. It's something I've been puzzling over for a while.

    Don't be too worried about my red herrings. So far, readers are pretty keen on what is misleading and what is a clue. I like to misdirect a little bit, but I also want the reader to be able to figure out some things on their own. And I want it to make some sense at the end. Hopefully, it's working, because sometimes I feel like it's a giant mess at the end, and I have to straighten it all out, lol.
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    @lone_cat That would be awesome! Yeah, generally you'd need to be a lot more descriptive, simlit is so forgiving in that isn't it. I suck at painting the scenery, but luckily, we don't need to!
    lone_cat wrote: »
    In my story, the towns in the game correspond to real-life locations, just so I know approximately how long it takes to get from point to point because I like having things mapped out ahead of time.

    Oh I'm the same, I definitely have a "map" on my head of which Sims 4 locations are geographically near each other and how long it might take to get places. Normally when I play I like to only have my sims going to a couple/few of the worlds that are grouped together in my mind (like say, Newcrest and Willow Creek) unless they're going on holiday. It really irks me if a my sim that lives in Windenburg gets a random call inviting them for a casual dinner in Sulani. I'm pleased that I can finally find a justification for that kind of thing with my story (teleportation magic of a sage has no bounds, yay!), but even still, I try not to overdo it and hop all over the place in every chapter.
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    @lone_cat
    I have thought about converting it to a book, maybe as my writing improves I will eventually turn it into a book. I think it would fit pretty well into the urban fantasy genre. I think the hardest part would be coming up with the setting.
    I'm all for you compiling your stories into a huge Hailey detective novel! I think it’ll be amazing if there was a simlit book of compiled simstories WITH pictures. I’d love to read a book like that and marvel at other player’s creativity. I agree with Plumbob that the game provides plenty of ‘setting’ so there’s no real need to elaborate more in writing unless you specifically want to. I’m rubbish at writing scenes but knowing that the pictures are there helps in that I know even if I don't explain something well, others will understand through the pictures hehe. It's like a safety net while I try to figure out writing settings. :)

    @ThePlumbob @lone_cat
    Uhh not taking notes when writing a story is not as glamorous as it sounds. There’s a lot of “What was that part of the story I fleshed out in my head when I was prepping dinner yesterday?” and “Get out of my head! I want to think of something else!” So yeah, seems like a ton of self-imposed suffering not to write notes. At least there’s no chance of fingers lost while cooking. Thank you anyway haha! :lol:
    Oh I'm the same, I definitely have a "map" on my head of which Sims 4 locations are geographically near each other and how long it might take to get places.
     

    Ooh! I think about that too. I use the fan made world map which ties all the towns together for my story (hopefully they update it for ecoliving and glimmerbook.) I’ve got certain places (windenburg/oasis spring) that require long distance travel like planes or road trips, but for the more town-ish and suburban places I think of them as distrincts that are close enough to reach, at most taking 45 minutes via highway. Sulani and Selvadorada are definitely long distance travel places.
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 417 Member
    @mercuryfoam Haha! Even though I write down story ideas, I still get new thoughts about how to change my story, and I do spend way too much time thinking about my characters' motivations, such as... would they really do what I've written about? Or does this plot make sense? Or some new story down the line. My brain really doesn't shut up, so I can commiserate.

    That's cool that there is a fan-made sims world map. My towns are pretty spread out, except for San Myshuno and Newcrest, and that still takes about two hours to travel between the two. Windenburg, Selvadorada, and Forgotten Hollow are in different countries in my own lore. And I still have no idea where Glimmerbrook is, but I have an idea that Evergreen Harbor is somewhere in the US west coast, like either Oregon or Washington state, just my two cents (take it with a grain of salt because I have never been to either of those states, only have seen pictures, or have known people from those states). Most everything else is based on US cities/towns, which are spread out across the map, so they still aren't that close and would require a road trip or plane. Anyway, I think you can do whatever you want with sims towns and where they are located geographically.
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    So I've got a bit of a weird topic today so bear with me (very slow day at work haha) - I randomly stumbled across this video last night. It's quite funny and informative, but it is a half an hour long, so to sum up, the main topic is the death of the author, so basically the concept that whatever the writer intends to communicate through their writing is irrelevant, because it's what the reader takes away and the reader's interpretation that truly matters. The video goes over views on this in reference to famous literary fiction, but it totally had me thinking about simlit too.

    I think there's quite a lot of emphasis on what the author intended in simlit, and obviously that's for a reason - it's much more of a two way street because for the most part, you read a story as it's still in the process of being written and you can always comment and ask questions as the story evolves, so it's much more of a two-way street than what you'd have reading a book. But it's interesting to think about what it means.

    I remember in school I found any literature classes so boring, because the teacher would always force on us what the author meant before we even read the book, which just made me go "well why would I read it now, I'm told what happens and what it's supposed to mean." So it makes a lot of sense to me to focus more on the reader interpretation. But of course we all write hoping that people will understand what we're trying to communicate (actually, scratch that, because half the time I don't feel like I know that myself, so if you guys figure it out, please tell me :D )

    I guess the other element is that none of our stories are finished yet, so obviously it's not the same case as with a completed one, since you still have plenty more to say in your writing. But I know that with my legacy story I did a few years back, I left the ending fairly open/had an ending that was kind of like a beginning, because I'm not really the type of person that believes all questions have to be answered and that there's only one correct way to answer them. I randomly picked up that save again half a year ago, because I loved those sims, but I only ended up playing for a few days, because it felt like it wasn't "canon."

    Anyway, I'll stop my weird rambling - as you can see I'm pretty indecisive on it all - and go see if I can whip up more pancakes because I feel like we may be running low. But I guess my question was:

    What do you think matters more; the writer's intent for the story or the readers' interpretation? And is that different for simlit specifically?

    (And just to clarify, I don't think there's a right or wrong answer to this, my head just kind of got stuck on the idea - blame the video.)
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    I’m really excited that you’ve brought up this topic. It’s something I’ve wondered about when I was writing B2WS1 and came to a decision midway that I think influenced my writing, or at least the way I perceived my writing. So I’m loving this chance for a discussion. But I’m exhausted to the bone so maybe I’ll post something 12 hours from now. Hopefully I’m asleep in at least half of those hours so my replies will be coherent. But yeah just wanted to express my appreciation and Yeah I am super enthused to reply even if my mind is slightly bonkers at the moment. :D
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 417 Member
    edited September 2020
    Oh man, I am incredibly indecisive about things like this. This is a really interesting topic. I can see both ways being a valid way to write. I watched the video, and the narrator brings up some good points, but at some points, I was like, whoa, way too much literary theory that I know nothing about. But then she did go on to explain it.

    I got a little long-winded and ramble in this post, and I talked a little about simlit, and non-simlit writing, and also my perspective as a reader and writer (I always feel weird saying this because I don't really consider myself a writer, it's just a creative endeavor that I enjoy). Okay, so here goes.

    As a reader, I usually don't like to know much about the author when I start reading. This is hard because sometimes I will read popular books and I already know a little bit about the author. I did like how the video explained reading as being a sort of intimate experience between author and reader. That I can relate to. I do find myself connecting to the reading, and maybe the author on some level, because I like the way they create a character or how imaginative the work is. I probably do form subconscious opinions or ideas of the author as I read, like... oh this person knows a lot about biology (I just made something up here), I wonder if they studied it in college? Usually, it's pretty neutral observations.

    After I have read a book, I will learn a little more about the author, because I like to know what inspired them to write or how certain life experiences influenced their work. I think because I've always been curious about people in general. And even if I don't like the author as a person, it usually doesn't influence how I see the book or the writing. I figure I liked the book for some reason, so it shouldn't lessen its quality because I don't like the author. Unless of course if the author is writing about something like finance (another random example) and it turns out they laundered a bunch of money or went bankrupt, then maybe I wouldn't take the book seriously anymore. I think non-fiction the author does matter, and you can't kill the author. The author needs to have credibility and knowledge of their subject in non-fiction. But I think for fiction, it is easier to dissociate the author from the work. In simlit it is even easier because everyone is anonymous. It is easier to “kill the author” because I’m not going to ask people about their personal views or personal history because that’s an invasion of privacy. I’m reading simlit because it’s fun and I enjoy the story, and I think it's kind of refreshing to have that anonymity.

    As a writer, I don't know if it is completely possible to dissociate yourself from writing, at least for me it isn't. I know I try to be as unbiased as possible, but I still know that I bring my own opinions, background, views of the world with me when I write, no matter how much I try not to. I also think that the reader also brings their own background and opinions with them as well, and what I intended to write or convey may not be seen in the same way to the reader. Or the reader might interpret it a little differently than I had intended. I guess in this situation I think it's valid for the reader to interpret it the way they want even if that's not what I intended. Usually, when I see this, I'm like... that's interesting, I never thought of it that way. Sometimes I do offer my interpretation if I think the reader is lost (I'm writing some mystery with plot twists, so I don't want my reader to be completely lost and get frustrated). I think the more I write, the more I leave it up to interpretation. With my current story, I am not going to explain everything at the end, so the reader can formulate their own opinions.

    I do agree that sometimes I write and I don't know exactly what I want to convey and I will just write the character interactions and leave it at that. I also am not trying to write something that is very deep, or life-changing, I mean I'm writing about a supernatural investigator, mer-people, and shapeshifters. :D I try to bring some real-life elements into it and try to make my characters like people you would meet every day (okay, maybe not Nancy Landgraab, I don't know any billionaires, lol).

    So yeah, I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say in this post even. :D Basically, as a writer, reader interpretation is good and valid, but I also know that my own background probably does bleed through into the story, so I probably haven't completely been able to “kill the author” in my writing. As a reader, I don’t mind having things open-ended and I like being able to form my own thoughts on the reading.

    Edit: Haha! Got my first censored word, it wasn't even that bad of a word, lol.
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    I'm glad it's not only interesting to me! :)

    @mercuryfoam
    It’s something I’ve wondered about when I was writing B2WS1 and came to a decision midway that I think influenced my writing, or at least the way I perceived my writing.

    That's a good point, with simlit you have the added factor that the reader interpretation might then directly influence the author to add another layer into the mix.

    I try fairly hard to not let the way readers might be interpreting events to not steer me from my original intention, but as the story is still being written and I am semi-fluid with some of it, I'd imagine it must register with me on some level, even if it's subconscious. It's a weird double-edged sword, because sometimes it gives you extra insight into themes you might want to develop more or haven't considered, but then on the other hand, you shouldn't let it influence you too much because the readers don't have access to the full story yet.

    I've definitely done minor adjustments to some of the story based on reactions - not any dramatic plot changes or changes to how I see the characters personalities and/or relationships, just little things - for example (minor spoiler for chapter 35 of BC, though I think you're all caught up anyway)
    The only reason Tomax is even present in this chapter is because when he was referenced in the past, the initial reader reaction seemed to be imply that the general consensus was that something incredibly sketchy went down with him and he's rotting in a dungeon somewhere, so I thought I best throw him in to show that he is just a scorned ex, but indeed "happy, healthy and alive" (well, happy is debatable, but you know :D ) and not buried somewhere in the magic realm gardens lol

    @lone_cat I feel like you could branch into so many sub-topics on this, phew!
    lone_cat wrote: »
    As a reader, I usually don't like to know much about the author when I start reading. This is hard because sometimes I will read popular books and I already know a little bit about the author. I did like how the video explained reading as being a sort of intimate experience between author and reader. That I can relate to. I do find myself connecting to the reading, and maybe the author on some level, because I like the way they create a character or how imaginative the work is.

    Same, most of the time I don't look up anything about the author and I don't really care, but of course, with some prominent names, it's become impossible nowadays.
    In simlit it is even easier because everyone is anonymous. It is easier to “kill the author” because I’m not going to ask people about their personal views or personal history because that’s an invasion of privacy. I’m reading simlit because it’s fun and I enjoy the story, and I think it's kind of refreshing to have that anonymity.

    The great thing about simlit is that it provides a pretty blank slate to start off with, because you know nothing at all about the writer's background and experiences, like you said. Though as you make friends with people on the forums it probably has to impact the way you read a story on some level... and then arguably in the simlit realm you do end up talking to people whose story you connect with on some level, so I guess that's even more amplified there. Just by chatting in this thread alone, we will likely have a different perception of each other's stories than someone who would start reading them say, by randomly stumbling across them in WP reader.

    (So guys, if you think something in my story is pants, do not hesitate to say it just because I feed you make-belief pancakes :D )
    Unless of course if the author is writing about something like finance (another random example) and it turns out they laundered a bunch of money or went bankrupt, then maybe I wouldn't take the book seriously anymore.

    Haha that reminds me of some of the law of attraction self-help gurus.
    Or the reader might interpret it a little differently than I had intended. I guess in this situation I think it's valid for the reader to interpret it the way they want even if that's not what I intended. Usually, when I see this, I'm like... that's interesting, I never thought of it that way. Sometimes I do offer my interpretation if I think the reader is lost (I'm writing some mystery with plot twists, so I don't want my reader to be completely lost and get frustrated). I think the more I write, the more I leave it up to interpretation. With my current story, I am not going to explain everything at the end, so the reader can formulate their own opinions.

    Yeah, you can get some interesting insights! I never know how much of my own view/interpretation to offer, I feel like sometimes I play it very safe and don't give people enough, and sometimes I tell readers too much :D Like, I don't want to spoil people, but at the same time some things might never be directly explained, which to me is fine, but someone might find that particular point really pertinent.

    It's a weird balance, because you obviously want your readers to see your characters/story the way you see them, but then no two people will ever look at one story the exact same way - but that's also the awesome part about getting to discuss them.

    I think most of the time, I'm pretty solid on how my characters would react in almost any situation, but I don't exactly have an analytical reasoning for it other than "I feel like I know them," so it's definitely interesting to see the points people bring up.

    That, half the time my thoughts are just a non-verbal stream of goo, so how can I expect anyone to see things the same way as me? :D
    Edit: Haha! Got my first censored word, it wasn't even that bad of a word, lol.

    Haha wow, congrats, I feel like I randomly run into flowers all the time and I don't really think I'm that much of a potty mouth, it always surprises me which words are censored.
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 417 Member
    @ThePlumbob
    I got a little rambly and now I'm going to ramble some more.
    I try fairly hard to not let the way readers might be interpreting events to not steer me from my original intention, but as the story is still being written and I am semi-fluid with some of it, I'd imagine it must register with me on some level, even if it's subconscious. It's a weird double-edged sword, because sometimes it gives you extra insight into themes you might want to develop more or haven't considered, but then on the other hand, you shouldn't let it influence you too much because the readers don't have access to the full story yet.
    I definitely struggle with this. It is probably part of the reason I rewrite a lot. But yes, sometimes I get some really good insights into things and I incorporate that into my story. I also am open to constructive criticism and think that it is good in the right context, such as... I want to know if I have gaping plot holes, or if my pacing is a little off, or even grammatical errors (I'm terrible with grammar/typos).

    Other times I question myself and have to ask, am I rewriting this because I feel it needs to be better? Or am I just trying to appease my reader? I definitely think that you should write for yourself and if you are just doing something to appease your reader, the writing loses some of its originality/creativity. But I'm also a people pleaser, so this is an inner conflict I struggle with.
    Just by chatting in this thread alone, we will likely have a different perception of each other's stories than someone who would start reading them say, by randomly stumbling across them in WP reader.
    Simlit is kind of weird that way because at first, it is very anonymous, but then you can chat with the author and figure out what they meant or ask questions that might change your view of the story or characters. So yeah, in some ways the author is more present in simlit writing than with just a random book or WP blog you might read.
    Haha that reminds me of some of the law of attraction self-help gurus.
    Oh man, I remember The Secret craze, and the author leading a sweat lodge retreat that injured/killed a bunch of people. Sorry to get morbid, but that's immediately what I thought of.
    I feel like sometimes I play it very safe and don't give people enough, and sometimes I tell readers too much
    I feel this way too. And sometimes it's hard to keep things secret because I get really excited about future events in my story and I want to share, but at the same time, I have to hold back because it's a spoiler.
    It's a weird balance, because you obviously want your readers to see your characters/story the way you see them, but then no two people will ever look at one story the exact same way - but that's also the awesome part about getting to discuss them.
    Yes definitely. I want my characters to be seen in a certain light, but I also get that, just like in real life, not everyone is going to like everyone or get along with everyone. I can't expect all my readers to always like or even see a certain character as I do and that is totally fine. It is always interesting to hear different viewpoints on a character/story.
  • SnuffyBucketSnuffyBucket Posts: 569 Member
    Ooh another juicy topic.

    This is the fifth reply I've tried to type; I keep skating along the edge of spoiling my story/making myself sound like a flippant cow.

    What do you think matters more; the writer's intent for the story or the readers' interpretation? And is that different for simlit specifically?

    Short answer: Writer's intent. Maybe.

    Long answer: My intent for the story matters more to me as that is the part I control; I don't mind how people interpret my story because I have no control over it. Part of what I enjoy most about people and their brains is that a hundred of us will look at the same thing and all see something completely different. Obviously, as we as writers all do to some extent, I'm skewing some things to try and make people interpret a certain way; there are times when I definitely want you guys to be adding one and one and making five, but I don't feel like a failure/frustrated when it doesn't work out this way, because I can't possibly guess how everyone's brain is going to interpret everything. If you add one and one and get twenty instead then, great! In fact, better because then you are a new kind of brain for me to analyse and I try and figure out how you got there. Yes, I'm constantly analysing everything. Yes, my head really hurts. :D

    Sometimes it's really interesting how people interpret what I was saying and I try to guess what each of my readers are going make of future events, but rarely change anything based on this, unless I feel that I can clarify something down the line with different wording or a better screenshot etc.

    For SimLit specifically. It's a 'live' process, rather than a finished book which means it can be tempting to cave to reader's ideas/interpretations. Especially when they're better than what I had planned e.g. the predicted vampire apocalypse everyone was gunning for at the start versus whatever-the-heck it is that I'm actually writing, lol. If I didn't have book one pretty much written by the time I started posting, I might have been swayed by some of the reader suggestions and changed everything (no, @ThePlumbob, I'm not talking about Zombie Sandy...). It'll be interesting to revisit this topic when I get to book two and see if I've become a slave to everyone's interpretations/expectations. :D

    Just to add: please don't read any of this is to say that I feel that your feedback and comments on my story are not appreciated. They very much are. They just aren't changing anything... yet. ;)
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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    @lone_cat
    Other times I question myself and have to ask, am I rewriting this because I feel it needs to be better? Or am I just trying to appease my reader? I definitely think that you should write for yourself and if you are just doing something to appease your reader, the writing loses some of its originality/creativity. But I'm also a people pleaser, so this is an inner conflict I struggle with.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I try not to change anything, other than tidbits like the one I mentioned above, consciously, but it probably does influence me to a degree on a subconscious level. hopefully not to the degree that people are getting a totally different story than they would if I just wrote all of this ages ago and was it just publishing now. (I guess that's the cool thing about yours, that you wrote the core concept a long time ago, even though you have tweaked things - but I know that's not necessarily reader feedback and but just the way the story and the characters naturally evolved in your head over time :) )
    Oh man, I remember The Secret craze, and the author leading a sweat lodge retreat that injured/killed a bunch of people. Sorry to get morbid, but that's immediately what I thought of.

    That is exactly what I had in mind!
    want my characters to be seen in a certain light, but I also get that, just like in real life, not everyone is going to like everyone or get along with everyone. I can't expect all my readers to always like or even see a certain character as I do and that is totally fine.

    Oh definitely, I don't expect my readers to like the same characters I do (especially since I have a tendency to like the more controversial ones the best), it's lots of fun to me to see which characters resonate with who. Sometimes I can predict favourites, sometimes I'm surprised, but I do enjoy seeing who different people find relatable.

    @SnuffyBucket
    My intent for the story matters more to me as that is the part I control; I don't mind how people interpret my story because I have no control over it.

    That's a really good way of putting it. I mean we have all started writing because a story came to our minds and wouldn't leave us alone, so of course our intent is the driving force behind it. You are probably further ahead in your story writing than any of us, so you're in a great position for not being swayed haha.

    I think for now I'm more focused on my own intent (though it is plausible I'm getting at least indirectly influenced by some reader observations, it's too hard to tell), but when it's all done I'm sure I'll leave plenty open to interpretation, because that's the kind of stories I like as a reader. Plus, sometimes people see layers in the story that I didn't even realise where there, which is awesome.
    no, @ThePlumbob, I'm not talking about Zombie Sandy...

    Aww :'( I need to be more persistent, got it! >:)
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    edited September 2020
    I am so so so sorry for my mammoth comment.
    I’m basically regurgitating what you guys have already discussed above. Like @lone_cat ’s perspective on writer’s impossible disassociation from their writing, acknowledging reader pov, questioning who we’re writing for, @ThePlumbob ‘s aversion to knowing about authors, knowing your own characters deeply, intrigued by others interpretations, @snuffybucket ‘s views that reader interpretation is a collaborative process between reader and writer, and rarely changing anything from comments. (I especially like that last bit. :) Now you’ve indirectly given me the green light to go ham on your stories and I know that I wont’ hurt your creative process. I will be respectful ofc. Like how respectful I am of Caleb :lol: )

    What do you think matters more; the writer's intent for the story or the readers' interpretation? And is that different for simlit specifically?
    Depending on which direction I’m applying these theories, writer’s intent and reader’s interpretation both matters to me. But if we’re taking this from purely the perspective of the reader and nothing else, I’d say readers’ interpretation triumphs my intent.

    I agree with John Green that “Books belong to their readers.” If anyone added my sim characters to their universe, I’m not going to tell them that Curtis’s favourite coffee brew is a specific combination of roasted Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica beans. Or that one of the characters in S2 is pescetarian. If they want their version of Curtis to be the same, sure. But if they want him to like rainbow cake and ride a purple unicorn, that’s awesome too. Imo, readers are free to come up with whatever they want with my characters without me policing over what’s right or wrong.

    That isn’t to say that I ignore writer’s intent or that I don’t have a strong idea of my characters. Those examples above are true to my characters. They will do that and respond to events a certain way based on who I think they are. But if readers did not get a particular trait or meaning from my writing, or saw my characters a different way than I do, then that is their ‘Truth’.

    Death of the author ties in with my philosophy of life that there are many different interpretations of reality. Each reader has their own construct of reality, so each reader will interpret the story using their own narrative. There is no ‘right’ reality -- no one’s interpretation is better than the other, not even the author because everyone interprets events with their own personalised lenses so the body of writing in question is already skewed.

    So in what circumstance is my intent more important than the reader’s since I apply both?
    To me, writer’s intent is important as the backbone of my writing. My writing must be strong enough to convey the story and characters so that they are able to guide readers in getting to know who they are. My writing must showcase their deepest desires, strengths and flaws. My writing (or pictures since simlit :lol: ) must portray their world vividly. My intent must be strong right at the very beginning to provide the base and clues for others to construct their version of B2W and its characters to be as similar as my own, but it doesn't need to be the same.

    So I encourage readers to pen their hypotheses, their predictions or analyses of my characters in my comments. I won’t necessarily agree with them even though most of the time I sound like a Yes man. But that's because their interpretation is valid from their pov. Unless asked, I usually refrain from presenting mine (unless the event touches me deeply and I want to discuss about it). Otherwise, I want to see from another lens instead.

    Extra ramblings: *hides*
    I didn’t use to think like that. If you caught my story in the earlier stages I used Author notes to explain a lot of theoretical concepts or workings of the story. I’ve since erased a lot of it because I decided DotA (Death of the Author, not the game rofl) was more important than my intent, but I have left snippets of my notes because as the video explained, writer’s intent is impossible to be disassociated from writing. Pause the video at 16:22 for Foucault’s slide of questions that debunk DotA.

    When I was writing B2W, those same questions plagued me, only modified in the realm of my story. Here they are:
    Each character I’ve written are (to me) representative of real people out there with the same challenges and adversities. With what authenticity do I have that I write their story?

    With what legitimacy do I write and cast people of color, survivors, victims, the marginalised and taboo parts of society, then say that my background doesn’t matter?

    With what authority do I insert parts of my construct of reality into the story, then flip around and say that my views are not important?

    I’m forever a fan of DotA. But it would be hypocritical of me not to acknowledge the importance of writer intent because seriously, writer influence is everywhere in their stories (or at least mine). From Grim spewing chaos theory when explaining mortality to Athena, to Scorcher’s subtle push at moral relativism towards Kirino as he descends into madness. I am at every level, conveying something to readers that may or may not be personal to me. And finally, there is purpose in my writing. My writing explores questions I have about love, second chances, morality, loyalty, etc. My writing brings to light the parts of society we don’t talk about. My writing is to heal, to dissect, to understand, to tell a story. So writer intent imo, in this context, becomes the spine of the book and is impossible to disassociate.

    On a related note, I empathise and can identify with John Green’s public backlash. I feel the same even without the backlash. And I believe that a part of him wrote Fault in our Stars to heal from the loss of his friend, similarly as I wrote for mine. But the world twisted it into something ugly. Poor guy, no one has done that to me thankfully since I’m doing simlit. I have no doubt that if I were a published author, the validity of my story, my identity and background will be scrutinised to bits. (From the video: “What kind of grown 🐸🐸🐸🐸 man writes s.ex scenes about two dying teenagers?” --> lololol I feel called out bahaha. :joy: )

    Anyway, that’s my take on the importance of weighing both DotA and writer intent. I personally apply DotA for reader perspectives and takeaway, but solidify writer’s intent through story telling itself.

    P.S - Hence why I'm vocal in comments because I think writers like reader interpretations. I rein it in based on author replies. Some have writers intent dialed to 100% (like I'm definitely not going to comment on Anne Rice’s works after that video haha!) But if I like the story enough and have some form of bond with the writer, I’d just yap whatever comes to mind. I don’t think they’ll take it too badly if we don’t see eye to eye. :lol:
    Post edited by mercuryfoam on
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    @mercuryfoam Woah, that was one insightful nap you took there! Because if this is you on limited sleep, phew!

    I think the conclusion I've currently (you know how flakey I am) come to is that while the story is being written, the author should really put their own intent above reader interpretation, because otherwise they’ll likely end up presenting a story that’s not particularly cohesive… and from a reader perspective, interpreting that would be messy and unsatisfying. But once the story is finished, I think it’s totally the readers’ prerogative to assign whatever meaning to all of it that speaks to them personally.

    Why I’m saying this applies once the story is over and not throughout is – using your example above, maybe the kind of coffee Curtis likes is really essential to the plot for some weird reason, but you only introduce that information to the story halfway through, at which point it would take precedent over whatever the reader’s idea of Curtis’s preferred coffee was up till now (wow, I feel like I’ll now always think about what kind of coffee Curtis likes lol :D ).

    So I’d agree about what you said about the reader’s ‘Truth,’ unless it’s a question of something that’s plot critical, which in an unfinished work is harder to pinpoint. But that would apply to more tangible things like what you said above – definitely less so about character traits, because like you said, there’s a different interpretation of our reality for every person out there, and in real life, we can’t see the inside of anybody’s head either – so how could their be an absolute about a character’s personality, if we can’t even fully have that IRL? But of course I'd say that, because I'm not a fan of absolutes in general.
    Death of the author ties in with my philosophy of life that there are many different interpretations of reality. Each reader has their own construct of reality, so each reader will interpret the story using their own narrative. There is no ‘right’ reality -- no one’s interpretation is better than the other, not even the author because everyone interprets events with their own personalised lenses so the body of writing in question is already skewed.

    You've put this far more eloquently than I ever could! *bows*
    If you caught my story in the earlier stages I used Author notes to explain a lot of theoretical concepts or workings of the story.

    Oh I think I remember that! I can see how there would be a merit to that kind of thing for more factual context, like say, history specific to your Universe. Kind of like how Tolkien wrote the entirety of Silmarillion to explain all the weird books and myths his characters referenced. Crutial to the story's enjoyment and finding something of meaning in it, not necessarily, but some people love extra lore (full disclosure, i could not get past two pages of Silmarillion)

    I think the lore side generally is tricky, at least I know I struggle with it, because I don't necessarily want to shoehorn it in - it's not something that feels like it would come up in conversations, but it does bear relevance to the plot. I am actually thinking of something specific in my story here, that I have only said in comments but has not been directly referenced anywhere in the story, since it never fit, and that sort of bugs me because it does have some importance - and it's not one of those open to interpretation characteristics, it's something more "factual". Hopefully I'll find a way to squeeze it in somewhere without making it seem out of place haha. Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent!
    Each character I’ve written are (to me) representative of real people out there with the same challenges and adversities. With what authenticity do I have that I write their story?

    Foof, that's a big burden to take on. And exactly why I decided to write a story about elves and spellcasters and vampires and fairies :)
    I'm definitely not going to comment on Anne Rice’s works after that video haha!

    Lol I found that so funny, because I had no idea, and I'm pretty sure Anne Rice's books have been a big influence on me since I read several of them countless times and I love them. But in case she's somehow lurking around here, this does not equate to fanfiction, my characters are my own, and they're their own kind of weird :joy::joy::joy:



  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,752 Member
    edited September 2020
    Woof, looks like I missed quite the discussion here yesterday! I’m so sorry for being a snail, guys :mrgreen: most of what I would have said has already been talked about, so I’m afraid I don’t have much to add anymore.
    Death of the author ties in with my philosophy of life that there are many different interpretations of reality. Each reader has their own construct of reality, so each reader will interpret the story using their own narrative.

    This sounds awfully familiar to a conversation we had a while back! :mrgreen: I agree with @mercuryfoam about how reader’s interpretation is more important to my than my intent – to a certain degree. Everyone has their own personal version of your world in their head, and are experiencing your story in a way that they enjoy. It ties into the talk that mercury and I had about Schrodinger's cat, and accepting multiple versions of truth. I actually take great pleasure in writing scenes that can be interpreted in many different ways, and seeing what people choose to see. Readers often surprise me with insights and ideas that I hadn’t even considered, too.

    The only danger with the back-and-forth relationship between writers and readers while you're still writing is indeed, as you guys mentioned already, that you may start subconsciously trying to appease readers, or explain your thought process too much in order for them to see “your” version. @ThePlumbob is right with that they can’t see the whole story, and their ideas may not work for future plot points at all. If you tell them, you spoil future events. If you change the story, you ruin story beats (especially if you’ve been working towards them for a while). Worst case scenario, your plot won't fit together anymore and crumbles out from under you.
    But I can imagine it's also not fun for the reader. I've experienced that a few times myself. I'd be excited about a prediction/idea I had for a story I'm reading, so I shared it with the author. They then proceeded to explain in detail what was actually going on, and how my theory could not be true. It cleared things up - but it also pretty much killed any enjoyment I had in analyzing the story.
    I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I think it's important (especially in ongoing stories) not to kill the author in favor of the reader. But I think it's just as important not to kill the reader for the sake of the author's vision.
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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    But I think it's just as important not to kill the reader for the sake of the author's vision.

    Ooh that's a really good way of putting it, @_sims_Yimi ! I hope what I said above didn't sound like I think the reader interpretation doesn't matter unless the story is fully written. At the end of the day, your own personal view of a story you're engaging with is matters the most to you, which applies both if you're reading it, or of you're writing it (hence the whole conflict haha).
    I actually take great pleasure in writing scenes that can be interpreted in many different ways, and seeing what people choose to see.

    I can definitely think of scenes like that in Camelot for sure! :)
    I've experienced that a few times myself. I'd be excited about a prediction/idea I had for a story I'm reading, so I shared it with the author. They then proceeded to explain in detail what was actually going on, and how my theory could not be true. It cleared things up - but it also pretty much killed any enjoyment I had in analyzing the story.

    You know, I can see this from both sides. From the perspective of the reader, it goes back to what I sad about high school lit classes - you're told what happens, and what the author meant by it, so what's the need for you to be a part of that equation? Obviously offputting. But then from the writer's side, say you see someone that really has a completely different idea from where you are going with this, and they keep bringing this up, and you foresee them getting frustrated because of their expectations of the story. I can see why you might end up ellaborating more then. Of course you could make the counterargument about how people like being surprised in some cases, but it doesn't always work that way and I don't want to get even more off topic/tangled up :D (And for the record, by the example above I obviously don't mean things like you attacking magic HQ with your gnome army, Yimi :mrgreen: We all know that much is inevitable lol)

    I'm sure I've told people too much in responses to comments on some occassions. It's a tricky line to walk - unless you get your gnometastic attorney answering everything, basically any kind of response is providing extra context/clarification that wasn't in the story. But then if you don't really reply, you kind of end up with the same equation, because people will think, well, why do I bother sharing my thoughts if they're not getting acknowledged in any way? I don't really have an answer to what the ratio is, and I'm notoriously terrible at gauging what people do and don't consider a spoiler/important, so I guess... I'll continue my bizzare blend of either not saying enough or saying too much :D

    Edit: I've just remembered two instances of me commenting on two different stories where I applied author's intent in one, and death of the author in the other. In one, I felt really confused and directly asked the author for their clarification (I did offer my interpretation, but it didn't seem to add up, so I wanted to see what their intent was). In the other, I felt really strongly about my own interpretation of events, so when the author replied with "no, that's actually not what x was thinking", in my head I just went "yes they did" and will still proceed reading the story with my assumption (that I have been told is incorrect haha). So maybe the tipping point is based on how attached you are to that particular interpretation, on a case by case basis, more so than a general approach to take? (Or maybe I'm just reiterating what a flake I am here...)
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,752 Member
    @ThePlumbob
    Ooh that's a really good way of putting it, @_sims_Yimi ! I hope what I said above didn't sound like I think the reader interpretation doesn't matter unless the story is fully written.
    Not at all, don’t worry! This is just me sharing my personal experiences.
    I can definitely think of scenes like that in Camelot for sure!
    It’s interesting to do because what version of truth people choose to see says a lot about who they are as a person. What kind of beliefs they have, how trusting they are and what kind of experiences they’ve had. I won’t go into detail more than this because it’s massively off-topic but yeah, that stuff interests me greatly.
    high school lit classes - you're told what happens
    I’m suddenly reminded of this:
    author.png
    xD

    Haha, the gnome army invasion is purely for giggles, I have no delusions of your story actually headed in that direction. And I have the same problem – it’s super hard to draw a line between what’s okay to tell people, what really should be left to the imagination, and what is an outright spoiler that may take away their fun if it’s shared. Delicate balance, it is. Or maybe more of a tightrope. :sweat_smile:
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  • SnuffyBucketSnuffyBucket Posts: 569 Member
    edited September 2020
    @mercuryfoam
    Now you’ve indirectly given me the green light to go ham on your stories and I know that I wont’ hurt your creative process. I will be respectful ofc. Like how respectful I am of Caleb
    Please do. Don't worry about offending me, you won't. :relieved: You may make Caleb cry into his plasma juice, though. :D
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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    @_sims_Yimi
    _sims_Yimi wrote: »
    I’m suddenly reminded of this:
    author.png
    Hahaha exactly!
    Haha, the gnome army invasion is purely for giggles, I have no delusions of your story actually headed in that direction
    I mean, you never know :D Maybe I could do a little homage, like a gnome invasion lite - something like a solitary gnome showing up in the Magic Realm and kicking Morgyn in the shin.
    Post edited by ThePlumbob on
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 1,156 Member
    edited September 2020
    I know the discussion has ended but I’m so excited to share my takeaways. And be reminded of takeaways so bear with me xD

    @SnuffyBucket
    I’ve done some reflecting on this discussion. So I will be nice to Caleb from now on *pats 300 y.o. vampire* >:)

    @ThePlumbob
    I think the conclusion I've currently (you know how flakey I am) come to is that while the story is being written, the author should really put their own intent above reader interpretation, because otherwise they’ll likely end up presenting a story that’s not particularly cohesive… and from a reader perspective, interpreting that would be messy and unsatisfying. But once the story is finished, I think it’s totally the readers’ prerogative to assign whatever meaning to all of it that speaks to them personally.
    Ahh… totally makes sense! I didn’t think of that! As I’ve told you, I’ve got this rigidity in my mind when it comes to numbers, so I’m pretty sure I have the same stubbornness spread across my thoughts so it may be easier for me to stick to the direction of my story but not necessarily shared by others. I think my takeaway from this discussion is I’ll reconsider my approach to commenting and present my interpretation in a lighter manner. Lighter not meaning censored, simply meaning I'll package it to be less confronting. :)
    I feel like I’ll now always think about what kind of coffee Curtis likes lol
    If Covid ever disappears and travelling is allowed and by some crazy miracle we meet, I’ll show you the specific blend he likes. :smiley: Cuz I like that blend. Actually, its precisely that dang blend that my sleep cycle is complete whack. I’m sensitive to caffeine and couldn’t resist a cuppa. :( Just ONE cup though. Aih.
    Foof, that's a big burden to take on. And exactly why I decided to write a story about elves and spellcasters and vampires and fairies
    I saw it as a privilege that I am given the opportunity to present their story. :) No worries about my ponderings. For most of my introspective questions, I’ve found answers for them. Just shared them for the sake of the discussion.

    @_sims_Yimi
    It ties into the talk that mercury and I had about Schrodinger's cat, and accepting multiple versions of truth. I actually take great pleasure in writing scenes that can be interpreted in many different ways, and seeing what people choose to see. Readers often surprise me with insights and ideas that I hadn’t even considered, too.
    Omg you’re right. Shrodinger’s cat! Wait. Was I quoting that then? Ooooh I was. That shows how unhelpful that video I watched about Shrodinger’s cat was since I came out thinking those were two different things haha.
    But I can imagine it's also not fun for the reader. I've experienced that a few times myself. I'd be excited about a prediction/idea I had for a story I'm reading, so I shared it with the author. They then proceeded to explain in detail what was actually going on, and how my theory could not be true. It cleared things up - but it also pretty much killed any enjoyment I had in analyzing the story.
    Amen to this. Not pointing to anyone in this circle. I also experienced this and was pretty demotivated after because I preferred to find out things on my own.

    @ThePlumbob
    You know, I can see this from both sides. From the perspective of the reader, it goes back to what I sad about high school lit classes - you're told what happens, and what the author meant by it, so what's the need for you to be a part of that equation? Obviously offputting. But then from the writer's side, say you see someone that really has a completely different idea from where you are going with this, and they keep bringing this up, and you foresee them getting frustrated because of their expectations of the story. I can see why you might end up ellaborating more then.
    I’ve experienced an alternative where the author decides not to explain. In one of the simlits I read, I was totally taking the story out of context for an entire chapter, then realised in the next updates that i completely missed out the most crucial concept in the last chapter and shared that with the writer who simply responded that she knew I’d figure it out on my own so there was no need for her input. My respect for her and her craft went up 100000x in that moment. Especially the way she treated my previous ideas openly too. Ofc depending on context this approach wouldn't work on everything, but it was a very positive moment. :lol:
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 417 Member
    @SnuffyBucket
    My intent for the story matters more to me as that is the part I control; I don't mind how people interpret my story because I have no control over it
    I think this is a good way to look at things. You really have no control over how readers will see your work once it’s out there. The only way to control it is through what you write.

    @_sims_Yimi
    But I can imagine it's also not fun for the reader. I've experienced that a few times myself. I'd be excited about a prediction/idea I had for a story I'm reading, so I shared it with the author. They then proceeded to explain in detail what was actually going on, and how my theory could not be true. It cleared things up - but it also pretty much killed any enjoyment I had in analyzing the story.
    Oof, I feel like I've done this a few times as an author. I am guilty of injecting my own intent into the comments, partly because I like sharing with my reader what my thought process was or what my characters' motivations were, but I get that maybe readers don't want to know all that and just want to enjoy the story and figure out things for themselves. I can definitely see that this would be frustrating.

    After reading everyone's comments, I am going to hold off on explaining things in the comments unless someone directly asks for an explanation and leave more up for interpretation by the reader. I feel like I either go from revealing too much or too little and need to be more consistent.

    And this sort of leads into @ThePlumbob comment.
    But then from the writer's side, say you see someone that really has a completely different idea from where you are going with this, and they keep bringing this up, and you foresee them getting frustrated because of their expectations of the story.
    This is also a good point. I really don’t want people to be lost or confused, and sometimes I can see someone interpreting something completely different from what I intended, and leading to future frustration. Then I have to ask myself how much I should reveal. This is a hard thing, knowing what to reveal and when, not just in comments, but in writing in general.

    As a reader, I think the author knows their characters/story better than I do, so if I am completely wrong and heading down a path where I will be completely lost, then I don't mind being corrected. I don't mind if an author tells me that I missed something because I know I'm not going to pick up on things 100% of the time, and I learn something that I might not have figured out otherwise. An exception to this would be if it spoils something major, or it's the writer's intent is for me to be lost for a while. On the other side, I don’t want to feel like an author is being a dictator and being like, no you are completely wrong, and this is the only way to see things. I haven’t really run into this in simlit, but I don't always comment on everything I read. I guess I'm lucky and haven't had a negative experience with author comments.
  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,971 Member
    edited September 2020
    @mercuryfoam
    the writer who simply responded that she knew I’d figure it out on my own so there was no need for her input. My respect for her and her craft went up 100000x in that moment.
    I think the more confident you are in your writing the more inclined you would be to react the way this writer did. Because individual interpretation notwithstanding, I'd be likely to see a reader getting "lost" as my fault - as a failing to convey the events better on my part. Which is where I might be likely to overexplain.

    That's not to say I want everyone to interpret everything that goes on in my story the same way I do like some sort of simlit overlord :D A lot of my story is intended to be open to interpretation, so my "version" is not necessarily more correct than other people's :)

    @lone_cat
    After reading everyone's comments, I am going to hold off on explaining things in the comments unless someone directly asks for an explanation and leave more up for interpretation by the reader. I feel like I either go from revealing too much or too little and need to be more consistent.
    Haha I feel like I'll be paranoid about what I say in response to comments now too! But I don't know if there's a way to reply to comments in a way that doesn't reflect the writer's intent, unless you reply to every comment with "interesting idea, what do you think?" - which I do a fair bit, but replying that to everything would probably get quite stale quickly :)

    I think I have a may have tendency to reveal too much when it comes to things I don't consider that "significant," or rather, when I know it's something that the reader will not get an answer to later in the story. By which I don't mean that it's a matter that will be left ambiguous down the line, but that it's something that will not be explored at all. In which case I might think, "oh, this is clearly something that matters to this person, and I have nothing to offer on the subject further in the story," so I might give extra detail. But maybe I should just learn to shut up :D
    On the other side, I don’t want to feel like an author is being a dictator and being like, no you are completely wrong, and this is the only way to see things. I haven’t really run into this in simlit, but I don't always comment on everything I read. I guess I'm lucky and haven't had a negative experience with author comments.
    I wouldn't say I've had negative experiences either, I have had a writer tell me that my interpretation was not where they were going (which of course may have just stemmed from what I described above) and that what character x was actually thinking was xyz, but it didn't bother me - my brain just rejected the author's intent and continued to go along with "my version " lol (Obviously I didn't lash out at the author or anything like that, but my way of interpreting their story hasn't changed). So I guess I don't have issues with applying Death of the Author :D

    But for the most part I do like getting extra context - you don't get the opportunity to ask the writer to ellaborate or give extra background when reading a book, and I do love that aspect of simlit, that everything is a two way conversation. Makes it more alive :)
    Post edited by ThePlumbob on
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