1. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    I'm an aspiring novelist who doesn;t read novels.. am I doomed?!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Scribe Rewan, May 26, 2008.

    This is something that has been bugging me for a while now. I'm sure if you ask any published writer they will say that the key to writing in their genre is to start to 'read, read, read'. I don't really read books. I find it hard. I've said this on other parts of this site already, but I see getting through a book as a struggle, not a joy. The only books I can really read easily are Terry Prachetts discworld books. Other than that it's like homework to me.

    So what I really want to know is; are there any other people out there who aspire to be writers, but don't actually read/ read much?
     
  2. Cicero
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    Cicero Banned

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    Would you like to read the book you wrote?
     
  3. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Ooo... that's an interesting question. I dont know to be honest. It's a hard thing to answer seen as I have read it so many times now to edit. I suppose it's got some interesting things about it. I think all novels have, even if they're mostly awful, which mine could well be.

    And i maybe said my peice earlier a bit wrong. It's not that I like books, and don't like the authors talents and the way they write, i just can;t read them.
     
  4. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I would think that you have to enjoy reading to enjoy writing a book.
    I can't live without books so I can't really say if it is possible or not.
    But how do you know what books are read and what ones aren't if you
    don't read yourself.
    Books give you a feel for what others enjoy about different subjects.
    I write children's stories so I wouldn't say you have to read the genre you write in
    but you should read some books that are in the style and type you wish to write.
     
  5. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    See i would have thought i'd have to like reading to like writing but i dont. I should have made it clearer earlier though, that i do like reading, i just can;t seem to do it. But i have managed to read quite a few fantasy novels, and i have read a lot of Terry Pratchett books and that's the thing i;m aiming for, so i'm not going to be sending in a fantasy novel to a publisher whilst knowing nothing about the genre.
     
  6. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    well as long as you understand what you want to write
    and have read at least a few of the better authors of
    the type you want to write.
    I don't see too much of a problem.
    My grandfather couldn't read or write well but he told
    the most interesting stories and we loved them.
    So maybe you can make a success of it.
     
  7. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Hmmm. Thanks, that's quite encouraging. I suppose at the end of the day i believe that writing (whilst it can be effected by outside things) come from inside of you, and so as long as you;ve got yourself, that's all you need.
     
  8. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Actually, I've met quite a few writers who don't read much.
    But Rewan, the important thing is that you at least try to read. Even if reading a novel is a struggle, it doesn't extinguish the fact that you HAVE learned something, consciously or sub-consciously, from the experience.
    The key to overcoming this is to find a novel that you really do think you'll enjoy, or even one that you think you'd like to write (reverse psychology...Fairy ad flashback) and read it. But don't look at it as a struggle; look at it as a joy, or at the very least, a learning experience.
    Hope that helped. :)
     
  9. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    go for it.
    just keep your day job.
     
  10. Cpn. Anon
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    Language is everywhere, so you shouldn't beat yourself up if you don't explore one of it's avenues too much.
    Although, my guess is that you just aren't trying to read the books that are right for you. Some people can read anything with an unholy vigor, but some people (myself included) can only sit down, read and enjoy certain books/authors. Find a style of writing you enjoy, find similar authors or novels by the same author, and then things should start to get interesting.
     
  11. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    I think it's quite all right myself. I love writing, and I do love reading but I only do a little of both. Reading really does help your writing though because the more literate you are the better your understanding of how a novel should work well is. So you can write but not read, but reading definetley helps you out.
     
  12. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    "Good writing in, good writing out." Not sure who this quote is from, but it might be worth considering within the context of this thread.
     
  13. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I don't read much fantasy fiction, but not for the same reasons as you; firstly, I just usually can't find or afford all the books in the series (because it seems like 95% of the fantasy out there is in a series!), and secondly, much that's available seems so formulaic (ah...boy wizards...and stuff with elves or vampires!...how nice) that it promptly turns me off. I LIKE fantasy, and I like READING fantasy, it's just hard to find the stuff that I would like to read.

    I do, however, read other things; mostly books on the culture/mythology that I myself write about. That's good enough "fantasy" for me!

    Seeing as you enjoy one series you've read, I'd get the feeling that perhaps, like me, you just haven't found the right books to read yet. Sometimes, if you have very specific tastes, they're hard to find.
     
  14. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    Without even reading the thread yes youare doomed, utterly and completely.
    That's it. fact.

    You can't be a good writer without beign able to read your compition.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't see how someone can become a good writer without being an avid reader as well. As much as writers have to be creative, we also stand on th ebacks of all those who have come before, all those who have learned through trial and error what is and what is not effective.
     
  16. ChimmyBear
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    Oh, I must ,say that reading is an absolute necessity...you have to read..it stimulates your creativity..at least it does for me. Often while I am reading, I am thinking how could I say this better, or how could I improve the plot?...There's more to reading than sheer pleasure. It strengthens your vocabulary and gets you into the whole writing feel.

    Just my two cents...:)
     
  17. LibbyAnn
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    Do I think reading makes you a better writer? Absolutely.
    Do I think you MUST be a reader to be a writer? Absolutely not. But I don't think you'll ever be a GOOD writer without being a reader too.

    That being said, I think that reading and writing go hand in hand. I think it will be very hard for you to become a novelist if you refuse to be a reader. It's kind of like having a conversation with someone...You can dominate the entire conversation yourself, but that's only half of the picture. The conversation gets really good if you allow the other person to talk some too.

    A big part of reading is being disciplined enough to do it in the first place. I think you should go to a library and sift through books until you find one that sounds interesting to you. Take it home and read a little bit of it each day. You may find that you really enjoy it!

    Also, when reading, do you see a "movie" in your head of the action going on in the story? Through working with my students, I've found that when one says they don't enjoy reading, it's because they don't know how to read properly. Books are so much better than movies, in my opinion, because I get to see every piece of action in my head. There is no budget in the world that could make a better movie than the one I see in my head ;) Try to savor each word in a book and REALLY imagine what it would be like to be in that particular scene. What does it smell like? What does it feel like? Once you get immersed into a scene, you may find that reading is a little more enjoyable.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm sure there are lots... but i'm also sure you'll not find any successful authors who don't read and/or didn't read before writing their bestsellers...
     
  19. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    You're not alone, Scribe. :p However, I would side against myself and comment that reading is a really influential factor in a writer's skill. At least try.
     

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