Monday, December 7, 2009

Pickiness Never Was Happiness

I am a picky person. Is it inherited? Honed after years of viewing an imperfect world? I don't know, but the truth is that I rarely read a book or watch a movie without having some sort of criticism.


Hubby: That was an awesome movie.
Me: Yep (trying hard to repress any complaints).
Hubby: (clearly seeing through my struggle to keep quiet) Why didn't you like it?
Me: I did like it. I just thought the ending would have been better if...

See what I mean? I am a picky person.

As I think back on movies, books or shows that I LOVED, loved enough to overlook any weaknesses, I wonder what made them special. Great character development? Awesome plot? New and exciting ideas? A combination of the three? I don't have the answer, but I do know when I walk away amazed, someone else's creation has changed me.

The pickiness is, in part, what can hold me back as a writer. I am not perfect. I know many of my weaknesses. But how can I overcome the weakness enough to finish my book?

I want to know how you can overcome and go forward. I want to know what element you think makes a book or movie special. I want to know if someone else's creation has ever changed you.

So, come on. Spill it!


  1. It's been a while since I walked away from a movie saying, "Wow. That was just...AWESOME!" But I do remember the last one. It was "The Dark Knight." A lot of people think I'm a bit silly but the character depth and emotion in that film just blows me away. It feels dark, gritty, real and yet so powerful. I think the reason it reaches me so much is because it's essentially all about choice. Choosing who and what we'll be.

  2. I'm right with you, L.T.! LOVED Dark Knight!

    The last book that really made me excited was "The Hunger Games". And before that, "I Am Not a Serial Killer". I can definitely say that both got me interested because of their new slant and they KEPT me interested because the tight and driving writing styles by both authors.

    You can definitely get over your own obstacles, Deb. Just remember that you have several great ideas that are coming together into an amazing story. Also, you have a great style of writing that is almost impossible to put down (for us lucky ones who get to read it). :)

  3. So I'm not quite as picky as you are Deb. Many great creations have changed me. There is a painter by the name of Turner who painted amazing skies in his work. I can't honestly tell you the other elements of his work except to say that they didn't detract from the cloudy skies he did beautifully. some are haystacks or buildings but I do know that I often look at a particularly turbulent cloudy sky and think of it as a "Turner" sky.
    I love movies and I've found that a lot can be forgiven in a good ending and a lot can be forgotten with a bad ending. The way the viewer or reader is left feeling at the end of a story (film or book) will make a huge difference.
    Shoot for the big finish. You can't know how your reader will feel unless you finish writing it and then you will know if you got it right or not by where it takes you and the reader. Who knows someday someone might walk down the street and look up at the sky and think that's Debbie Hibbert's SKY!!!

  4. Everyone's a critic. :)

    I agree with Donna that the ending is big. You could love, love, love something all the way through, but if the ending isn't satisfying it's hard to recommend it to anyone.

    Another big thing for me is being able to connect emotionally to the story, usually through the character development.

    Some things that make me turn off to stories include unrealistic dialogue, stereotypes,and one dimensional characters.

    Just remember that your writing doesn't have to be perfect. Expecting perfection can keep you from writing. Write the story you want to write. Some will love it (hopefully millions who will buy the book) and some will not. But,what matters the most is that you've written the story you want to write.

  5. I struggle with the perfection complex. If I can't be perfect I just won't try. Or I wont try my hardest. Which is why I am a Jack-Of-All -Trades and master of none. If I do it only half way or three quarters way and its not good enough, I know I didn't give it my all.

    Lame I know. That is why I am working hard at writing. I want to fearlessly give something my all and see how I do. But I'm not so good at fearless . . .

  6. LT, I agree. Loved, loved, loved "Dark Knight".

    Tart, your writing is amazing, and for a great writer like you to compliment my writing...well, it makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

    And thanks for that, Linda. The story I want to write is a whole lot more entertaining than perfection. At least I hope!

  7. I meant to add, you're a great writer, so don't be too hard of a critic on yourself. :)