Critique, Doubt, Novel, Writing

On Tilt

Poker players have a term for flustered, irrational thinking and behavior in a game. They say the player is on tilt. This is usually happens after the player suffers a bad beat. I don’t play poker. I write. But I regularly go on tilt after a bad critique.


A bad beat is when the player thought his hand was a sure winner, and probably was early in the hand, but not in the end when it counts. A bad critique is when you think you’ve got all your little ducky words in a row, but someone points out there’s a frog and a rabbit and—oh, lord—a fox in the line, too. That’s when I run around screaming for a while.

Eventually, I calm down and take a closer look. Turns out that frog just wandered into the line, got quite embarrassed when you pointed it out, and hopped away. And that rabbit was just duck #3 in his Halloween costume … we’ve had a talk, it won’t happen again. And the fox? Well, sometimes a fox is just in the eye of the beholder.

I’m not quite level again, but I’m getting there. Then I’ll have something to blog about.

4 thoughts on “On Tilt”

  1. On the other hand, my writing teacher suggested (she heard it from a well-known author, although I’ve forgotten which one), that when a scene is dragging, you should introduce a fox.

    Perhaps you want those foxes to linger.


    1. I fully understand your teacher’s analogy … introduce a little danger to spice things up.

      My analogy is awkward. My fox is an illusion, a cry of “danger” when I don’t believe any exists. That’s not to say, I’m not looking over my shoulder. 😕


  2. Count your blessings no sloths were found. That could really throw the monkey into the pond. OMG. I am so bad at that animal analogy; I hope that’s no reflection on my writing. 🙂


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