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A Snoopy Dance and a concern

The good news: I was voted in as first place in fiction for still_grrr's prompt #066! *burns more calories with a Snoopy Dance*

That's three in a row, which makes me very happy. Here are all the winners:


However ...

Well, I don't know quite how to put this, and I don't want it to come out the wrong way, but it makes me feel almost -- guilty. I mean, there are all these great writers, and for three weeks in a row I've been able to grab the ring, as it were. Granted, I didn't cheat, but at the same time I have been writing fiction, and studying how to write it, for many years. Does all my work trying to get published give me an unfair advantage over talented fan writers who might just be having fun? I mean, these are some great stories, and if some other author is going by natural talent and doesn't have a lot of training or experience, then comparing apples to apples they're better than me!

I'm just sayin'. I decided I really wanted to meet all the prompts over at still_grrr this month, but I kind of hope I don't win any more of them, because there are lots of other deserving writers. Did all of that come out making sense without making me sound like an idiot?


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 31st, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
It makes sense, but you shouldn't give yourself such a hard time about it. Your writing is great, and the voting is based on what the readers prefer - if they were getting bitter about it, they'd stop voting for you! So just bask in it for now. :)

Maybe the guilt is leaking over from the fact that you should be focusing on your ORIGINAL FICTION instead of your fanfic... (Don't worry, readers, he pays me to prod him about that all the time..) ;p
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
That's a good point -- after all, many of the readers *are* writers! Besides, I've been hearing that I'm really supposed to be focusing on original fiction ...
Jun. 1st, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
May. 31st, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)
When you're hot - you're hot. Congratulations.
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
I think I'll just go with that one! After all, I have had my cold times.
May. 31st, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
I get that "apples to apples" comparison, but really, it's no comparison. I spent a long time envying an enormously talented fic writer (in whose work I'd find bits and pieces of my own fic!) I'd rationalize it, thinking, "Well, LJ hivebrain," but still go grrr to myself over the theft and her greater talent (& also advantages--I didn't go to one of the Seven Sisters). Then I was told by someone whose opinion I respected that my work had far more "heart" than hers, and he preferred my fic to hers. Yes, I'm childish like that.

I also feel I have a disproportionate number of wins, based upon my writing talent. Heart ain't everything.

So, what am I saying? You have talent and heart and hard work and years of practice going for you. Like strangexgirl said, "Bask in it."
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
I agree with your friend -- not only is your writing good, but you put your full heart into it, and that makes up for a lot. Besides, it's easy to get years of hard work and practice in: All you have to do is work and practice for years. Pretty easy when you think of it that way, isn't it? :-)
Jun. 1st, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Things have changed with the arrival of the kiddo. I'd LIKE to have years to perfect my craft, but she's my second (or third) job now.

I forgot to say "Congratulations!" to you, BTW.
Jun. 4th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)

And yes, kiddo's automatically move up over just about everything in the to-do category.
May. 31st, 2008 12:53 pm (UTC)
I admit I haven't read all the stories, but I did read yours when it was posted on your journal and I liked it. A lot.

Fwiw,I'm going to answer this from the point of view of someone just starting out, who gets noms a lot but never wins (and who has not a whit of English writing background and really, probably not a lot of natural talent either LOL). I think if you (as a rep of the more practiced/polished writers (you choose the term) stop writing stories, we (the much less polished/practiced) would lose out in the long run, not to mention the fandom itself. You guys give us something not only to read and enjoy ourselves as fans, but to shoot for as writers. A bar to attempt to reach.

And if someone is writing just for fun, then that's been achieved when the story was completed and posted. Trust me, this I know. :-)

So, don't feel guilty. You earned the awards. Enjoy them.

I very much doubt that Tiger Woods(in his heyday) ever said "Today, I don't want to win cause all those guys placing back farther in the pack with less practice or are younger need a chance to win, too." Or Tom Hanks when he held yet another acting award, said "I'm not going to act for awhile, so others can stand here instead of me."

I'm just sayin' :-)

Jun. 1st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
First of all, if you have no English writing background than you *definitely* have natural talent!

I appreciate what you have to say, and it makes sense. Just to make it clear, I was thinking of not putting my stories in for contests (unless someone else nominates them, of course), but under no circumstances will I stop writing them! That would be impossible for me. However, you might not hear from me quite as often, because I have some longer fics that I might be busy working on.

But anyway -- point taken!
Jun. 1st, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
If you have no writing background than you definitely have natural talent

Thanks, that was very nice of you to say that although I don't know about the talent part (have you actually
anything I've written? If you have, that'll make four people :-) And definitely not a single bit of writing background. Period. In fact,Jerusha had to show me how to place my first fic into the correct format for a story (when to break a paragraph, when to use italics, etc.)And for that, she has my undying thanks forever, too. I'm just glad I'm a fast learner so I didn't drive her crazy. Now all she does is catch the occasional mispelling or a forgotten comma.

I figured you weren't planning to stop writing. That as you say, would be impossible for you. I just figured you might take a break from the fanfic for awhile and work on your original stuff. Glad you aren't planning to do that, purely for selfish reasons. I like to read your fic. :-)
Jun. 4th, 2008 08:23 am (UTC)
I haven't read too much of yours -- or of anyone's, as I've been too busy to partake in my favorite activity. Um, second favorite activity. I did read the first chapter of The Gundy Affair, but now that I think of it I never reviewed it. *blushes* I loved how in character Buffy remained, and I'm hoping for a break soon to get back to the story.

What I have read is all your other posts, as I do with all my flist, which is kinda strange considering I came here to read fanfiction -- and that's the one thing I haven't been doing! :-) Anyway, don't feel bad about the formatting thing -- I had to learn to do all that too, as I spent most of my writing career on honest to goodness typewriters, or just printing manuscripts out from word processing programs.

I am going to try to go more to original fic, but I've got so many internet friends who like my fanfic that I'll probably always keep my hand in it, at least a little. Unless I've got a novel deadline looming!
Jun. 4th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
I do the very same thing- end up catching up on my flist and then have no time for actual fanfic. LOL I read much more short fic than I ever do longer stuff, too. It satisfies a need and takes much less time. I'm also guilty of not always leaving reviews. Sometimes it's all I can do to find the time to actually read the piece, much less chapter by chapter reviews. As for The Grundy Affair, thank you for taking the time to read the first chapter- I'm glad you enjoyed it. That Magic Box scene, along with one between Buffy and Giles later in the story were my favorite parts to write. Everyone seemed to enjoy the Grundy tearing up the shop, too. Funny and twisted plot mysteries I can write, angst or really torturous never. I can't seem to go over to the dark side. I think I'm just not good enough to write what I don't feel or like myself. I love humor and mysteries, so that's all I seem able to write, usually together.

Your comment about the formatting makes me feel better. Thank you. It's nice to hear when someone very professional has fought with the same problem, although I'm surprised. I just expect, with how polished your stuff is, that you were probably an English major, writing perfect prose all along. That was perfect, not purple. LOL
I think writing one shots like the prompt communities' stuff would be perfect for you. You give us something to read (so we don't have to clamor)and you have more time for your original work. I hope your girlfriend is pushing you to work on the novel that you posted a bit from here a few months ago. I loved it.
Jun. 5th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
Reading short fic is easier, but I usually make an effort to get to the longer stories -- because the longer stories are the ones I usually prefer to write, myself.

Maybe that's why I liked The Grundy Affair so much -- I prefer funny and twisted to angst, myself. I get enough angst in real life!

Perfect prose? Hah! I'm just a high school graduate -- most of my college level courses have been emergency services or disaster related. In fact, I spent so much of my time in English class writing stories that I didn't really get much out of the class itself. I was poor on grammer, sentance structure and spelling, and there I was trying to be a writer: It was like trying to be a carpenter without knowing how to use a hammer. I had to get ahold of old school books, then go back and teach myself English.

Once that was done, I started obtaining any book about writing I could find, then I took three correspondance courses: Journalism, short story writing, and novel writing. Only after all that did I finally get good enough that my natural talent begin to translate into professional level fiction. So, yeah -- it's been a long haul, and that's not including having to learn how to format my stories into computer language!

Anyway, yes, my girlfriend continues to push me. I'm hoping to get heavily back into that novel at around the end of summer, when some of my chores around the house are accomplished. I've got a list!
May. 31st, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
oh congrats!

and I think you made perfect sense!
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, and I love your icon!
May. 31st, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
I can understand why you'd feel guilty, but you shouldn't! Your stuff is absolutely awesome, so if the others are recognizing that, you should feel loved!

Seriously, enjoy it. <3

Jun. 1st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, and I appreciate the show of support!
May. 31st, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the new win.

Don't feel guilty.

First off, you aren't the only author in those competitions who has studied the craft of writing for years. You are winning against learned AND talented competitors.

Secondly, you do see wins for stories that are good fanfic without necessarily being good writing. The story has to have something more than technical superiority, and yours do.

The fanfic awards probably follow the strictures of a free market closer than any other awards. If the author gives what the fans want, they win. If they don't, they won't.
Jun. 1st, 2008 06:31 am (UTC)
All good points -- and thanks for the pic-me-up! I do like the idea of knowing I'm pleasing the fans -- not to mention a lot of the voters are fellow writers.
Jun. 1st, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Congrats! And I don't know that you should feel guilty. There are quite a few writers who end up having runs on still_grrr.
Jun. 4th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
Really? I read there, but I haven't posted often in the past, and I confess I didn't pay too much attention to who past winners are. That does make me feel better!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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