Saturday, July 5, 2014

"I Wanna Write a Book, But I Hate Reading."


Famous Author Quotes @ http://pinterest.com/iuniverse/iuniverse-famous-author-quotes/

Like, really? Really?

I've seen more than a few of these types of posts and each time, I scratch my head and feel annoyed.

So you have a great idea, you think, or you have interesting characters and you want to tell a story. That's great! Go ahead and do that!

But please read some books before you think you can write a story. I realize that there are different levels to writing a story---maybe you're writing as a creative outlet or you're writing fanfiction or you're writing a class assignment. Maybe writing is your hobby. I've been in these places; I think every writer has at some point.

But here's the deal: If you ever want your stuff to be taken seriously--or to be published--then you can't come in with the attitude that your fictional story is absolutely brilliant, even though you hate fiction. Or your book is going to be the next Twilight, Hunger Games, or Divergent, even though you hate reading. Or that whatever you write doesn't need to adhere to basic grammar and spelling rules, as well as the most basic of formatting (indent before paragraphs, a new paragraph when a new character speaks, page breaks, quotation marks).

Because guess what? You hate fiction, but you're writing fiction? It shows in your writing that you don't read it because there are always certain expectations readers have of fiction, particularly genre fiction.

You hate reading, but you want to write a book. Do you not see the basic contradiction here?

Grammer, spelling, and formatting rules exist for a reason. It's so written language can be easily understood.

Writing books is not an easy thing to do. Plunging in without being a reader...I don't even know how that's possible.

Go read a book.

14 comments:

  1. ^_^ PLEASE read a book, right?! I swear this is in the top 3 of most asinine things ever. You know what I find almost as annoying as this? When people don't read the book and just watch the movies but still want to pretend like they're an expert on the series. No, they're not. I'm not going to rag them for not reading the series, but like, don't act like you know more than the people who have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I've picked up things about writing--basic things--because I've had my nose stuck in a book since I was a kid. Now, I know a lot of people start writing as adults or start again as adults, but presumably, they've read things!

      I just don't understand where this idea comes from. Someone once suggested that it's because writing is seen as this solitary form of art and you don't need a film crew or a chorus or a bunch of actors to do it if you were writing a movie or a play or something. I don't know.

      Delete
  2. It definitely does NOT make sense. It's like any other artist wanting to create something (art, music, video), but not wanting to take the time to appreciate and LEARN from what is already out there. I get that some people don't want to read. Period. That's fine, but to not read but still want to create something for others to read...uh. So many wrong things with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If someone wants to write a story, then great, right? But please don't think that writing a lot of words makes a book, especially novel. That's not the way it works.

      Delete
  3. I image part of it is that they just haven't found the *right* books yet and think they can provide the book the entire world has been looking for. It's a ridiculous idea and they'll figure that out once they try. I like to think that once they realize the effort required that they'll then look for the types of books that might interest them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly! But I do wonder where the idea comes from---that you can write an entire fictional story without having read very many novels. Non-fiction has a different structure entirely, after all.

      Delete
    2. It's a lack of respect and understanding--"I don't like any of this, so it was simply to create." Kind of harsh, but I like seeing people try and fail at something they scorned because they (hopefully) will gain a new appreciation for the effort put in to writing.

      Delete
    3. I hope they do gain an appreciation of it! I know I did after I became dead serious about writing and didn't realize how hard it would be...and I've been writing since I was a kid.

      Delete
  4. I just finished a book that I plan to review, but I feel horrible about feeling the way I do about it. It's obviously written well, but the problem is my willingness to suspend disbelief at all the ideas and misconceptions the author has about medical work and police work. It's like they've done ZERO research into their topic, having characters explain things and then mention "haven't you watched C.S.I?" I want to scream!

    Read lots, then write. Don't watch lots of television and thing that book readers are going to relate. It's rubbish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Different mediums! Different level of detail needed.

      Delete
  5. Plus, it seems a bit arrogant to say (or even imply), "I don't like reading novels because most of them are boring. But you should read mine! Not boring at all!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've actually read statements like this and every time, I shake my head. I mean, I guess if the person is more of a non-fiction person, then I can say, "Well, at least they read something." But writing fiction demands certain elements and I don't think you can get those without reading fiction.

      Delete
  6. I'm going to be the dark horse here and admit that sometimes I hate to read. I think every writer at some point, goes "fuck it, I can't stand reading this anymore." I'm manic depressive so I have a love/hate relationship with reading and writing. And I don't believe you have to read a ton of books to figure out how to write a book. Granted, yes there is some required reading involved, obviously. But there are some days I can't even look at one word. And then there are other days I can't read and write enough. I guess it comes with the territory of having a mental illness. But I don't think that the people interested in wanting to write a book should be shunned upon just because they don't like to read, or don't read much. There's a ton of people struggling mentally and find writing as a great coping skill. I've had to reread my books endless times and each time it gets harder and harder to read, because I'm always seeing room for improvement. I'm always seeing it differently. Even after it's published!!! I'm not an avid reader, I only read a handful of books each year. And I never read as a kid. In fact I was a very poor reader. But again, I can understand your point, but there are other points here that haven't been raised. That's just my take on it. Everyone deserves a chance at writing, even those that find it difficult to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa-
      Thanks for coming by and sharing your experience! Obviously, this being my blog, I was writing from my perspective. I was speaking of those who don't have reading difficulties, but who seem arrogant or too lazy to read a book, even going so far as to profess hating reading...but they still want to write an entire novel, perhaps without understanding what the writing process really entails or of what types of books in their genre have come before or what tropes are common. I wouldn't know half of what I know about writing if I wasn't such an avid reader. Not saying I always read quite as much as I have been this year, but I'm happy that I'm reading a lot these days and I can see the effect in my writing.

      Delete

Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!