A nice person (and excellent writer) who shall go unidentified sent me some suggestions via private notes* in Medium regarding some recent posts in my Conversation with My Wife series** on Medium. My first reaction:
That is SO COOL! Thank you thank you thank you!
I won’t copy and paste the comments (since the point of the private notes was a private message, yes?) but some of the suggestions:
- Keep the dialog simple. Bare bones. No need to gum it up with too much detail. Make it more like a screenplay.
- Don’t keep saying that Jack loves Deb*** or Deb loves Jack. It’s obvious from actions and other words.
- Side comments or explanations are good, when they enhance the story. Again, simple is better.
I appreciate these suggestions, the courage it took to say them to someone never met in person, and the good-hearted intentions to improve my Conversation series. And hey! They won’t all be gems! But if anyone wants to say anything (“I have NO idea what this paragraph is about. What hedgehogs?”) about my stuff, I promise I will appreciate it****. Don’t think of it as unsolicited criticism, think of it as unpaid editorial suggestions.
*Said private notes suck, btw, if you are trying to pass along any idea that can’t be contained in a subTweet. A 200-character limit? SERIOUSLY? And the comments show up in the website, but not the iOS iPhone or iPad versions, so I was getting emails that said I had private notes, but they were invisible when I tried to view them. I’m sure it’s supposed to be an anti-troll thing, but dang, Medium… Also, apparently “Dismiss note” means “destroy note”? Because I misunderstood that part, I deleted notes I just wanted to hide temporarily. (Fortunately I have backups.)
**Not to be confused with a Medium Series, which I still haven’t attempted because, sorry folks, it feels like it’s still in beta testing. And my stuff doesn’t really fit the format.
***Some of that is an inside joke. When I’m about to say anything about my wife/parent/mother-in-law/brother-in-law that might be construed as, um, less than totally supportive, I preface it with “…whom I love very much, …” So I say, “My wife, whom I love very much, sometimes can be a little too direct.” Or, “My wife, who loves me very much, occasionally thinks I have lost my mind.” Alas, the thing about inside jokes is that they are inside jokes. And my #1 editor (whom I love very much <wink>) doesn’t catch those.
****Unless it’s trolling. Those I’ll ignore or block, unless they piss me off, in which case I have warrior elves I can call on. No, not people in pointy hats and curly-toed shoes who walk around with clipboards asking when the toys will be ready—those are worrier elves, completely different.
Oh, and while I might have some Medium staffer’s attention: Footnotes. Real footnotes. Please. Some day? The manual method is only slightly easier than a Smith Corona typewriter.