Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stupid Questions

Firefox no longer remembers this blog in its auto-fill history, so clearly a blog post is long overdue.

I had a kind of stupid question earlier today and, as I am a quasi-Digital Native, I searched for the answer online. Because where else is one most likely to find the answers to all of the stupid questions than online?

Turns out, I wasn't the only one to have asked this particular stupid question. I found it posted on Yahoo! Answers. And amazingly, I found an intelligent answer. (What, exactly, the question was is irrelevant.) And then I thought I'd head over to the Books & Authors category, just for fun.

I don't know what I was expecting—I should have been expecting stupid questions—but "fun" wasn't it. Mostly, it was a lot of people asking "What do you think of this for a story?" and then posting 17,000 sentences all in one paragraph with a notable lack of correct grammar and punctuation.

It hurt. It physically hurt. So I clicked off and decided to check Facebook and email for the one-hundredth time that hour.

Honestly, I don't want to be mean. I do support those who want to write and be creative. But let's get real. There is a lot of resource material out there (in the world, not necessarily all on the Internet, unless of course you're looking for answers to stupid questions) about writing. You don't even need to visit your local library anymore, though I do highly recommend frequent library visitations.

Don't just post a lot of blather and then ask, "Do you like my story?" I can say that 99.9% of the time, if you have to go to Yahoo! Answers to find out, the answer is NO.

So how do you get to be a better writer? Or learn to write a story? Start by reading. Read voraciously. Make that highly recommended trip to the local library (and then keep going back). And I'll post my own list (separate from Stephen King's writing techniques) shortly.
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