Everyone sees things differently. As a writer we should all realize this tiny little fact. The color blue, does not bring the same image to everyone and we should not expect our readers to visualize what we have in our heads unless we make things clear.
This was very apparent in the Shock Totem Flash Contest this month. We had a very interesting prompt, a song and music video that pushed many of the participants way out of our comfort zone. I know I had a hard time working with it. It took listening to the lyrics several times over and over before things finally clicked. It took almost another two days to get the right theme. I think I quickly slapped on a few edits before the time limit (one week after the prompt is revealed.)
We got our votes and critiques in last night. I had reread my story this weekend, and I found holes, big gaping holes in character. Ouch. While someone gave me a vote for first place, I hardly deserve it now that I look at it again. When I sent it out, I thought the story was pretty good. Compared to many of the other stories, it paled in comparison.
The critiques are excellent ways to improve writing. Most of them are short, but a few brave souls (@gioclair) gave some longer feedback. Thanks for doing that. Now, hopefully I can fill the holes and make a better story out of it.
Thanks to all the Shock Totemites!