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Eye of the Beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  That’s what they always say, right?  When it comes to art, there is no such thing as objective.  Someone can say your story has been done, the characters are flat, and it’s just not very interesting, and someone else can love it.  It depends (every lawyer’s favorite answer 😉

I for instance, haaaaaate Picasso.  I think his stuff is crap and looks like a 3 year old did it.  Maybe I just don’t get it, or maybe it’s everyone else who’s been snowed and I’m the little kid who can clearly see the emperor has no clothes.  Does it matter?  No.  Because they are both true and not true and since there’s no way to measure it, the cat stays forever in the box.  (And if you get this joke, thank-you! I’m not the only dork 🙂

I love the classical artists, the ones that painted stuff that looked real and made sculptures that could’ve been real people frozen in marble.  To me, those take talent, a true eye.  Those are beautiful.

Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, those artists speak to me.

My sister thinks I’m a fuddy and that modern art shows true talent because once the old masters showed the world how to make something resembling real life, it’d been done, and real artists do something new.  So they came up with ways to express emotions and events in abstract ways.

I think she’s just buying into hype, but that’s my point.

All art is in the eye of the beholder.  There are basics, and once you have those down and know what they’re for, you can go outside them.  I hate literary writing, to me it’s the equivalent of modern art paintings that are a red dot on a black background and are supposedly brilliant.  Others love literary, the language and the flow of it, and look down their noses at “commercial” writers.

Is anyone really right?  Of course not.  Because it’s art.

Take any art form and you will see people who find beauty in flaws, in perfection, and in bashing the rules.  I have a friend who was in ballet before law school and she said she faced the same type of critiques and rejections I do as a writer.  It all comes down to what style you appreciate and how what the artist does within that style conforms to your tastes.

When you’re writing, it’s important to find beta readers who understand and like your genre and your style within that genre, otherwise their feedback will be all about how it should be a different style or go in different ways.  Once you have that, you can nail down what you’re doing that will throw readers off.  Again, there’s really no right or wrong, just what the readers will like.

Then it’s all about finding the audience for that genre and style.

We have a saying, “If the beta or the person critiquing can tell you something’s not working, they’re often right.  If they can tell you what you should do to “fix” it, they’re almost always wrong.”

Happy Writing 🙂

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