1. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Objectivity in Revision

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenGhost, May 9, 2012.

    As I have been churning out pieces lately, I find myself, even when coming back to read after a few days, still too emotionally invested to enjoy the story. The electricity of my ego shocks the pages and each word as it screams inside my head, "This is my story. I know this is my story."

    Throughout the read, I cannot help myself when I find a mistake, or a word that does not fit. Even when I have settled all the mistakes and achieve a state where I am confident and happy it is finished, I still cannot read my own work for the sake of reading it recreationally, if only to see if it flows well, or to even get lost in its words. I find it very hard for me to even picture the words and descriptions as I read, like the experience I have when actually reading someone else's work, because I am constantly analyzing. For once, I would like to read my own story as if I was another person, and enjoy it, as selfish as that may sound. Can anyone relate? If so, any suggestions or thoughts on how to battle this?
     
  2. bakalove
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    bakalove Member

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    i used to be like that i was so bad that rereading while writing a piece was almost painful. But now i kinda learned to just ignore my concerns and force my mind to read it with out criticizing it for me reading it in a different voice helps (that voice that goes off in your head while reading xD).
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    in my case I have to let more than a few days pass before I can read my own work more objectively, and even then it's still difficult and I can definitely relate. I'm talking about a couple of months here, like when I sent my ms to a publisher and didn't touch it for almost 4 months while waiting for the answers. Then you get closer to something like reading it like somebody else would.
     
  4. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    I'm not sure you can EVER read your own work as you would someone else's. but I think the longer you leave it the more you will have improved and therefore the more mistakes you can spot.

    It takes a lot of discipline to be objective and ruthless in editing/rewriting. I've come a long way since the days when I used to resist changing something just because I liked it. Now I try to evaluate whether it works and is needed. If not - cut!
     
  5. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    I would never attempt to read through it for edits/revisions only a few days afterwards. Though it's not just improvement wise that it helps. Personally, it takes a few months to forget what I wrote, so when I come back, I'm not accidentally skim reading it, skipping words without even a thought.
     
  6. aimeekath
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    aimeekath Senior Member

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    I get the same kind of problem. I just detach myself from it all, leave it for a sufficient amount of time and then go back to it. If my head still isn't clear and objective enough I wait longer or do a different project to distract myself.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As you practice giving critique, you'll find it easier to slip into critique mode, which is a more objective way of looking at the writing by its very nature.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i always tell my mentees to read their work over two ways... first, as an editor, to find goofs and glitches... and the second time, as if they are their own worst enemy who was asked to review the book, knowing who wrote it...
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's one thing to train yourself to write well, but it's another (I think) to train yourself to critique your own stories objectively. But it can be done. Cogito is right: if you critique the work of others, you'll find it much easier to critique your own. The easier it is to slip into critique-mode, the less time you have to let the story sit before you can see how it can be improved.
     

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