Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cheating Out and In

The last two posts (and many posts I have put up previously) is a great example of my major critique of many pieces--it needs an outside eye. I wrote quickly, didn’t double-check it; and pressed it before even evaluating the substance.

So it came out flat. It came out uninteresting. It came out forced and highly irrelevant. It came out almost offensive and stereotypically.

But what I was looking for was honest and needed real gravitas that I couldn’t lend to it. And one read through with Ciera was all I needed to understand that it was an incomplete piece. An outside editor is important for me because it is easy to spin off into my own little world. It is easy to create a set of rules and believability that exists solely in my own mind.

Delivering the meaning to the masses is a difficult prospect. Good writers can impart not only their perspective but the inner imagery--perspective that they experience the world. That is an important distinction between bad writing and somewhat half-way decent writing.

Without that element the audience feels cheated. I felt cheated reading my own work. Last night we saw the Hollywood version of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. It was good. But I don’t understand why Hollywood even made a version of the movie. The original Swedish version was much better and if the only reason for the Hollywood version was a presentation for English audiences or to make a quick buck then I feel cheated. It was easy to see from an outsider’s perspective that there was little gained from this version except for 22 bucks from Ciera and me.

“Either we will make it big sometime because our art is found or we’ll be broke and obscure because no one cares for what we do,” I said to Ciera. I was musing on the subject because I wouldn’t find myself on a reality show anytime soon and I certainly wasn’t about to sell out. Ciera won’t either. And I thought about how that presented a challenge to us. We do what we love and are going to pursue that regardless of our financial situation. Sticking to our guns might not give us millions of dollars, or it could. Who knows?

Maybe someone with an outside perspective does.