Friday, January 15, 2010
"Sometimes art can be too personal."
Self-Portrait with Easel (1888)
A young man showed his student film to its first audience... and no one "got it." He thought he had been very clear in what he had depicted, but it turned out that too many of the references and required thought-connections were too closely tied to himself and his own particular ideas and experiences. Other people didn't see what he saw. "Sometimes," he said, "art can be too personal."
I wrote a short story last week that I love. The kind of story where you finish it and think, "This is so cool. I've really got something here. Revising? Pshaw. It's ready now!"
I gave it to a crit partner who has read my work before, who "gets" me, and who I trust.
She didn't get it. Worse, she didn't understand it. The ending flat-out confused her.
It's not ready.
Quite frankly, I'm a little bummed. I know that everything needs revising, and that writing is rewriting, but... yeah. I kinda hoped I'd gotten it flawlessly the first time around. And now I need to figure out how to translate that which is totally obvious to me into something which is comprehensible by people who, well, aren't me.
Recap of post for people who might not see things exactly the way I do: This is why you need a crit group or beta readers.
Hang in there, everyone.