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Experience: A Necessity? (Or, writing and having a life 2.0):
Ahr riverI mentioned guns?!? —rereads thread— Huh. So I did.
"Even bringing up Orwell does your argument no good; yes he had plenty of experiences, but he did not have the actual experience of living in the world he portrayed. He had to synthesize, extrapolate, create." The miscommunication here lies quite clearly in you thinking that when we say write from experience, we mean rendering a literal, point-by-point description of only those events which the writer has partaken in. I have repeatedly explained to you in the previous thread that this is not the case. I'm not talking about limiting yourself to autobiographies, but to those events and emotions that you can reasonably relate to from your previous experiences.
edited 27th Sep '11 12:50:58 PM by kashchei
NemesisNight, I do not mean this to be at all insulting, but rather I think it might illuminate the communication difficulty: Are you on the autism spectrum at all? I ask because there appears to be a huge gulf of understanding between yourself and most of the other posters in this thread and the earlier thread, and I think it goes beyond reading comprehension or anything like that. It certainly reminds me strongly of discussions between autistics and neurotypicals I've been part of before, where the problem is that there are fundamental differences in thought and perception between the two groups.
A brighter future for a darker age.
edited 29th Sep '11 8:23:25 PM by jagillette
Ahr riverYou realize there is no "winning" or "losing" right? This is a debate. If you're debating to win, you're doing it wrong. Also, I see more people who agree with experience being very important to writing (in other words, agreeing with Kashchei)... Skill is really a negligible thing here. I hate the argument "a writer with a lot of skill could do it." A writer with a lot of skill could right misogynistic tentacle guro rape and make it the greatest love story of our generation. Assuming an ideal scenario is pointless. A skilled athlete could run a race and never break a sweat without training. That doesn't mean that most people should not train.
edited 29th Sep '11 8:29:15 PM by MrAHR
Writer's Welcome WagonI'm just going to throw in my opinion, which probably had been stated multiple times: "Any experience, even any that is only remotely related to what you're writing, is better than none." * "Interviewing a primary source is better than researching from a secondary one." -flips off wireless-
edited 29th Sep '11 8:32:00 PM by chihuahua0
Ahr riverThen I advise you don't call the other arguments stupid. It does nothing to help your cause, and paints you to be rather condescending.
Also known as KatzUm, guys? This conversation is going exactly the same direction the last one did.
edited 29th Sep '11 8:43:18 PM by jagillette
With Mod Hat OnThe point of a debate is to "win" it. That's what makes it a debate. There are different ways to win a debate, but the point of a debate is to "win". This is, or was, a conversation (people talking about things, with no "winner" or "loser"), or a discussion (somewhat more focused than a conversation, but still no "winner" or "loser".) Now, let's get back to the converscussion and stop worrying about who's "winning".
edited 29th Sep '11 8:51:38 PM by Madrugada
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
Ahr riverYou can't assume that you are making a strong argument. Some people are not good debaters. And the people you are talking to are still people. So you need to show them, and their arguments, respect, even if you do not agree with them. Gah. Ninja'd! Damn my loose definition of the term debate.
edited 29th Sep '11 8:51:18 PM by MrAHR
edited 29th Sep '11 9:06:58 PM by jagillette
Also known as KatzI know I'm exacerbating the problem by pointing it out, but the discussion is once again migrating from being about the role experience plays in writing to being about who's winning and the rules of formal logic and whether this is a debate or a conversation.
vigilantly taxonomishPerhaps we need a better definition of "skill" and "experience" here. To my mind, "experience", in this context, is any knowledge gained firsthand, not from a resource such as a book or website. What is "skill", in this context? Is it the ability to use the language cleverly? If so, a person with skill but no experience could presumably write a very entertaining "quirky" story, but not a realistic or particularly immersive one.
Ahr riverI assume skill is a way of saying how "good" of a writer you are. A vague, general way of saying it. I don't think it matters your skill, because you can't assume everyone is at such a high skill level it stops mattering whether they have experience or not. Especially because NO ONE on this site is near that skill level, and I'm sticking by that assessment.
"Now the actual point that you guys seem to be dancing around is this: Which is more important in writing? Experience or skill? keshchei seems to support experience, although he hasn't categorically stated it. Night definitely supports skill. Now let me repeat this, keshchei, in case you didn't catch it: we all know that skill and experience are not mutually exclusive. Even Night knows it. However, all of your points have revolved around a hypothetical situation in which someone must choose between writing with skill but no experience, and writing with experience but no skill. Got it? Great. I'm sorry, but the incredible amount of stupid just pissed me off." No, sorry, I didn't quite get it, because the argument we're having is not one that juxtaposes skill against experience. For all your claims that Night and I are talking past one another, you do a terrific job of missing our actual points, which are: First-hand experience is paramount vs Experience is not necessary because knowledge can be gained vicariously My point is that experience is necessary not because it gives you an insight into technical details of something (although this is a plus by all means), but because it broadens your point of view. What Night is saying is, you don't have to have shot a gun to describe the sensation; what I'm saying is, having had shot a gun may have triggered emotions, reflections, and associations that you would not have felt otherwise. In other words, don't limit yourself by thinking that knowing how to describe A to B is enough, because that kind of thing is not particularly interesting to read. We want to know about how A led to B, why it did, and what the consequences of it are.
Blondes Have More FunAlright then. Is there anything NEW to add to this discussion?
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Total posts: 43
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