There are times in your life when you have to make choices. Today I made a choice to scratch a few sites off my reading list. When authors start having hissy fits in public and trying to knock down other authors because of differing viewpoints on how to write, that’s my cue to move on.
Some authors claim to understand that other people have different processes, but when you read between the lines of their posts, you can see the bias in every word they write. They’re not just offering an alternative way to approach storytelling, they’re calling people who don’t want to do things that way “silly” and “scared” and it’s just… ugly, for lack of a better word, and I don’t like it. So I won’t be reading any more of it.
(The surprising thing is that this alternative way to approach storytelling is supposedly against the establishment, but since I’ve been writing this way for thirty-odd years, I find that hard to believe. I mean, no one ever told me I wasn’t supposed to be a discovery writer. I thought that was how most fiction writers worked—but maybe it was just the particular craft books I chose to learn from. I read all of Lawrence Block’s craft books (Spider, Spin Me a Web is still my favorite of all time), and Stephen King’s On Writing, and Bird by Bird and so so many others, and the bald-faced truth is that of the large number of craft books on my shelves only a few actually make a big deal about outlining. Being a discovery writer is a tried and true method of storytelling and I don’t know where this myth started that everyone pushes outlining so hard. Maybe inexperienced writers, and those that outlining works for? I don’t know. That’s just not been my experience. No one ever told me I needed an outline to write a story, not even the high school English teacher that made me write stories when I would have rather been reading!)
I won’t pick on the sites in question and post links, because I don’t think that’ll help anyone. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to see these kinds of conflicts, you’ll probably choose to avoid these sites on your own.
The good news is that this might mean I have fewer distractions in the mornings that lead me to flit around the internet. :D That’s always good!