The Storyteller - the wit and wisdom of Frank Coughlin
 
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Writing is not only a creative process, it is a sensitive opening to your heart. When you write a story, you are putting yourself out there. You are letting people see your baby, your piece of verbal art, your dear and precious creation. So why then would you trust the words of a total stranger or worse - someone you know.
Getting good writng advice is like finding swomeone who will loan you money and not care if you pay it back - Yes, it can happen but it is hard to find. And in the process of finding a great (or even good or even not bad) source of feedback - you will find many people like the one in the picture above. He looks like me (if I had a neat beard and non- gray hair- I do have the fuzzy mustache and the crazy look in the eyes). He is a stranger and thus you do not know what his baggage is (biases) and that is important. Very Important !!!!
 When you get feedback from somebody (even your Mom) use my simple rules to filter out random negativity and get clear on what they are saying.
1) Family Members have an opinion of you built in - whether you know it or not - never trust them because they will never tell you the truth - there is always another reason why they said what they said (for example - if you are known as the crazy one in the family - they will tell you your work was great and can you please untie us)
2) Internet Friends whom you have never met - and thus you do not know their baggage - you can take the good praise and pump up your ego but other than that it is mostly useless criticism you will get from them because nobody wants to piss off anybody on the internet since you never quite know if they will track you down or not -
3) Real physical friends - they too have baggage but the closer the friend that they are the more likely that you each know the others baggage and the more likely they will tell you the God honest truth - if you trust this friend, trusat their criticism
(but also understand that a CPA might not know anything about poetry or writing creatively)
4) A writing professional - these are rare and hard to find (that is if you want FREE advice or criticism - otherwise they are easy to find and not necessarily any good). The internet and magazines are full of people who will review your work for a price and most of them will never tell you that your work stinks (because they want you to keep coming back and paying). I knew a lady that had written a novel which had unlikable characters, bad plot, bad dialogue, bad grammer, . . . and five hundred pages too much plot. She paid a "professional" to review her novel - the professional told her that with fixing a few details, she could have publishable novel. This is the same advice he gave her three visits and numerable fixes later (all paid for) and no publishing house ever even gave her novel a second look. My advice is NEVER pay for advice (on anything) - unless of course you want to pay ME. Yes, that is right, for a measly pitance I will critique your masterpiece - and for a small extra charge I will praise your work.
So take advantage and email me today (or send cash through snail mail - no checks or anything traceable please)
Until I hear from you (and even if I do) Keep writing !

 


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