A Speshul Snowflake is someone who thinks that their novel/game/idea is the best thing on the planet. The Best Thing Since The Wheel! The idea behind the name Speshul Snowflake is the thought that every idea/novel/game is unique to the point that it should be cherished and worshiped forever (because its THAT awesome and unique) even when its a pile of flaming camel shit. Speshul Snowflake Syndrome affects not only novel writers but also table top game creators. If you want to get into depth with it, it can apply to anybody creating a new idea/story/game/music/ect. Spehsul Snowflakes are so blinded by their Specialness that they think that all constructive criticism is wrong. Speshul Snowflakes love telling you how great and special their idea is and that its YOU that is the problem.
Let me make a distinction between being proud of your work and tumbling into the asshole wankery that is the Speshul Snowflake Syndrome. Being proud is great, hell, I am after writing a 90K worded fiction. But telling your projected audience/readers/gamers/listeners that their wrong and they just don’t understand your ABSOLUTE GEEEENIUS is not only unprofessional, you look like a total asshole.
I spent about half an hour recently with a table top game developer. He not only told me how much of a Speshul Snowflake he was but also insulted me, his projected audience, that I wasn’t a “Real Gamer” so I didn’t understand what I was talking about. (Read: “You just don’t understand my EPIC EARTH SHATTERING GENIUS so shut the fuck up and listen to me tell you how goddamn SPECIAL my game is.) Among constant wankery of how many people liked playing this system and all the wonderful backhanded comments I received after offering one piece of constructive criticism.
As a writer and a creative individual, I know all about how precious our work is to ourselves. I make sure not to go out of my way to bash work or pull a personal vendetta. I know my constructive criticism was well founded, but Speshul Snowflakes always take it personally and spew how much of a GEEENIUS they are.
Its Spehsul Snowflakes that almost GUARANTEE that their idea/game/novel/ect will never be published unless they upfront the money themselves. Being a Speshul Snowflake is a career killer before its even started because no one will want to work with you.
Seeing Speshul Snowflakes in all their wanking glory only adds fuel to the creative fire that I can make something better than them and be professional about it. Its a motivator for me. Having them telling me “No, you just don’t get it,” makes me think to myself, “Oh yeah? Enjoy being on the bottom of SLUSHPILE HELL with all the other Speshul Snowflakes demanding to be paid a lot of money for their Great American Novel/Greatest Music Ever/Epic Game”. And when it fails to meet their unrealistic expectations, they go all woobie oh-woe-is-me, the world just doesn’t UNDERSTAND my GEEEEENIUS.
*Urban Fantasy writer Lilith Saintcrow came up with the term Speshul Snowflake.