This is turning into an impromptu creative writing class

Continuing the discussion from TRUE FACTS about Richard Dawkins:

#This IS turning into an impromptu creative writing class.

Post some writing, and ask for our feedback!

  • Say something positive about the piece. Even if a piece of writing needs a lot of work, there is usually something good that can be pointed out, despite the rest of the crap.
  • Critique the writing, not the writer. Instead of saying, “You aren’t very good at conclusions,” say, “This conclusion didn’t really work for me. Idiot.”
  • Speak from your own perspective, using phrases like, “My reaction to this was …” or “I found this to be …” or “When I was in Rome for vacation…”, or “I’m a man, but I know the feminists would say that…” or “I don’t want to sound racist, but…”
  • Remember that you are in a writing group to help one another improve. It does not help the writer if you see problems with his/her writing but don’t mention them because you’re afraid of hurting his/her feelings. Feelings are for the weak, bad writers amongst us.
  • Talk about the way you responded as you were reading. Sometimes it’s easier and more helpful to say, “When I read this sentence, I wasn’t sure if the paragraph was going to be about this or about that, and when I got to the end I didn’t even care anymore” than it is to say, “This sentence was confusing.”
  • Be specific. Instead of just saying, “The characterization needs work,” try to figure out where and how the writer can improve on the story’s character. Perhaps they could go to Rome for vacation? Drink more while writing? Regaling the group with the plot details of last night’s episode of True Detective might help.
  • Whatever you say, imagine yourself on the receiving end of the comment. Roll your eyes.
  • Prioritize and sort your comments for the writer. What interfered the most when you read the piece or what was the hardest part to understand? What is most likely to get the strongest response from the group?Sometimes it is helpful to break down your comments into a list of “big drama” and a list of “who cares” that the writer could do to improve. Remember that everybody is giving up their free time to be in here, so be entertaining.
  • Tailor your comments to the writer and his/her needs. Is the writer too needy? Talk about their wardrobe choices.
  • Write out key points that you want to share with the writer. This will help you remember them and also provide a written record of your feedback for later blog posts.

When I drink and write, it feels that I’m more verbose and less concise. I guess I could get that suspicion confirmed here.

I’m not sensing any motivation, here. It feels more like “I’m writing because it’s an assignment” or “This is my job, and who cares.” Have you tried injecting a little more action into your life? Perhaps taking a course at a community clown college, or walking on live-coals?

It’s short. Some people like that. Like Hemmingway. Who’s dead.


It’s “Hemingway.” God! Was he the only one who understand that brevity is the soul of wit, and could write even his name without superfluous verbiage festooned with unnecessary characters?!

Now there was a man.

Ahem. I’ll go refill the coffee pot.


My lovely boy, you have no idea. Action is not the problem.

So, it’s the injecting part?

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I’m all in favor of flash-fiction. Except when it’s not interesting. And is phrased as a question? Because I can just hear your voice rising up at the end? Into a squeak? In your attempt for validation?

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By your increasingly stressful lilt of phrasing, am I correct in detecting that you might be the one in need of an injection? I can’t oblige but perhaps another mutant might?

:musical_note: Never thought that it would come to this :musical_note:


我的房间不大不小. 不幸的是,我的房间里乱七八糟。这个月我有鼻窦炎,所以我不打扫。我的衣服没挂着。很多空瓶在地板上放着了。我摆着它们了,可是还不好看。自从星期日,一张死蟑螂在墙贴着了。我不能假装着井然有序。帮帮我!

Well it’s time to find out, and I do believe this is the first serious submission to your shiny new thread, Mr. OMIKE.

Actually, it started with OMIKE:

Then Mr. @redesigned penned this clever piece:

And I joined in:

Submitted for your approval.

(For those keeping track…)


Feedback: Your prose is like your room. Could be tidier. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


It reads better in Google Translate…


As I sat in the old wingback drinking my morning beer spiked with truBrain, I mentally sorted the tasks for the day.

“Paint the hedgerow. Dust the dog. Finish those nude Finnish etchings…”

As I tallied strategies and steps, I spied from my left eye something that momentarily caught me off guard. The enormous ass of an elephant.

“I am that ass”, I mumbled as I rose to collect the daily flowers.


That reminds me of Arthur Dent walking around his house in the morning all bleary and having random thoughts of “yellow.”

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“Drink up,” said Ford, “you’ve got three pints to get through.”
“Three pints?” said Arthur. “At lunchtime?”
The man next to ford grinned and nodded happily. Ford ignored him. He said, “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
“Very deep,” said Arthur, “you should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you.”


“What if I told you I’m not from Guildford after all?”

“Why, is that something you’re likely to say?”

Cite: Adams, Douglas - Same for Japh’s above.

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I see what you did there.

A good author should cite his quotes.

“These ones are typographers’ quotes,”

«These are French guillemets,»

And Jim quoted me $3995 for a new website.


Sent from my iPhone


If that quote isn’t instantly recognizable I will seriously buy you a copy of the book from amazon this afternoon. I am not exaggerating.

No, really.