I've been suffering from a serious lack of motivation lately in terms of making new captions (as my drastically reduced rate of posting clearly indicates.) So I've been spending a good amount of time thinking about why this is, and what can I do to fix it? And I think I finally have an answer.
I'm running out of ideas.
Well, that's not entirely true. It's more of a feeling that each new caption I make is something I've already done. I mean, granted there are only so many ways to tell the story of a guy becoming a girl, but there are caption makers out there who have been at this for way longer than I have, and they still seem to come up with new material.
I guess the difference is this whole fantasy isn't as personal for me as it is for them. I'm here for the primary goal of becoming a better writer, and recently I feel like I'm beginning to go stagnant.
So there's the problem. Now let's move on to the solution.
The two keys to getting better at anything are practice, and getting feedback. The tg community is fantastic at giving positive feedback. It's an extremely supportive environment that is great for new captioners to build up some confidence as they begin to share their work with the public.
But now I'm asking for the opposite. I'm looking for things that I need to improve on. So while I still appreciate and love all the support you all show for my work, I'm asking for you to please start criticizing it. Just don't be a complete jerk about it.
If you leave the comment, "This sucks. What the hell were you thinking?" I'm going to write you off as an asshole and ignore your comment.
But if instead you leave, "This. sucks. What the hell were you thinking? The protagonist's character arc is completely unbelievable and I don't find his emotional reaction to the situation to be a valid response based on his characterization." I might still think you're an asshole, but I'll be impressed that you made such an astute observation and work harder in my next piece to create a more believable character.
Now obviously I don't expect crazy, in-depth analysis of my work (although if you want to take a crack at it, I'd be impressed). But something as simple as "your description of the transformation was a little awkward," or "I'd like it if you would have given the gender change aspect of the caption a bigger role," would really help to get my motivation going.
For those of you who have ever had the privilege of being part of a creative writing workshop (and if you haven't I'd highly recommend giving one a try if you ever get the chance) you know how helpful it can be to have a group of people tell you how great a job you did, and then proceed to tear your work apart so you can rebuild it into an even better piece.
I want to keep getting better at this whole captioning thing, but in order to do so I need people to show me places to improve.
So go ahead, tell me what you like, what you hate, what you want to see more of, and what I should never put in a caption ever again.
I'd really appreciate it.
P.S. I know a lot of people are touchy about getting feedback on their work so I usually avoid any kind of criticism when I leave comments on other people's blogs, but if there are any fellow cappers out there who want me to give them honest input on what they can work on in addition to what they're doing well, I'd be more than happy to do so. Just let me know.