1. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Paying too much attention to writers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by shadowwalker, Nov 14, 2011.

    I've been pondering this 'idea' (for lack of a better word) for some time now. I started thinking about it when reading discussions of self-publishing blogs and then after seeing another discussion about writing 'rules' on another forum. The question is, basically, do writers sometimes/often get too immersed in the writers' POV and forget what readers are concerned with/interested in? (And I'm not talking about spending too much time on the various forums ;) )

    For example, the self-publishing blogs (and I'm just using this as an example, because it could just as well be a commercially published author's blog). A writer was asked to guest blog on another SP's blog and it was considered a big deal, an addition to the writer's reputation. But I kept thinking, do readers really care? Do readers even know about that blog? Or does it matter to the readers if we outline or not? Does it matter to the reader how many revisions we go through - or when? Are critiques from other writers really better than critiques from readers? Are readers as critical/appreciative of covers as other writers?

    I just wonder at times if I'm worrying too much about the writer's world instead of what the readers want.
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I can see what you are saying. And I personally think that what readers and writers both think should be taken into equal account.
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think you have a point shadowwalker. It can, for a writer, be at times hard to disengage yourself from that mindset of a writer, and we do need to appreciate things from the other side. But I would hope that most writers are also readers (indeed, I find it hard to understand how one can be the former without the latter), and this would be able (if not always necessarily inclined) to do this.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I worry about the [possibly] insular nature of the writing 'community', and losing touch with reality. I suppose it can happen with any career/hobby/interest. It becomes the be-all and end-all of one's life and then suddenly something in the 'real world' slaps us upside the head, making us realize we've missed the boat - and no idea how it happened. Like, "I shouldn't do this, but if I do, I have to be careful of this, and then..." and suddenly the story is getting lost in all the advice - and you realize you need to just step away and write what the readers will (hopefully) love.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I understand your post correctly, shadowwalker, then I think my answer would be this:

    Readers don't care about what goes on in forums like this one. Why should they? They don't care about what processes writers use to get the stories written; they just want to read the stories.

    But forums like this aren't for readers. They're for us. Writers are like any other subset of the human race. We're concerned about whether we're "weird", about whether we're doing things the way other people (hopefully, successful other people) do them. We ask each other questions about whether or not we outline, how many revisions we do, whether we're more plot-oriented or character-oriented, and so on, because we feel a greater sense of security if we find that others do things the way we do. We feel we're doing it "right".

    When we're on this forum, we don't care what readers think. We're discussing our craft away from the readers. It doesn't matter what the readers think - they aren't part of this. The reader should only see the finished story, not all the machinations that we use to create the story.

    You're not "worrying too much about the writer's world" if that worrying - meaning your participation on forums like this - helps improve your experience as a writer. If your experience as a writer is improved, then your writing will most likely improve, and your inspiration to write will get stronger, and you will write more and better and have a better time doing so. That's why, I think, forums like this are popular.

    What the reader cares about is the finished story. We writers have to care about how we get from the blank page to the finished story. How we do that is none of the reader's concern, but is of immense concern to us. So don't feel guilty about being here on this forum. This is none of the reader's business.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Readers are interested in the story. Writers are interested in how to tell the story and making it the best it can be.

    One (writer) has to be wary of allowing other writers to overly influence and stifle a writer's voice and creativity. While there are many wrong ways to tell a story, there certainly isn't a single right way--and even some of the 'wrong' ways may be handy to employ in certain circumstances.

    Most writers are readers. But most readers are not writers (although I suspect many have thought about it to some degree or another).
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    writing is a solitary pursuit... or at least it used to be!

    with the advent of the internet and its plethora of writing sites and chats and blogs, the ease of self-publishing, et al., i think many who'd never have thought of being writers now have the idea that it's so easy, they may as well give it a try...

    and many of these new writers seem to let themselves get sucked into the 'community' [as shadowalker puts it], and thus end up doing more interacting than writing...

    i counsel my writing mentees to eschew the community stuff and concentrate on solitary reading and writing period, if they really want to be professional writers and not perpetual dabblers...

    no offense intended toward those serious beginners who like to frequent these sites, as that's just the personal opinion of a professional writer/editor who learned on her own and has been practicing the art of wordsmithery for longer than most here have been alive... and i do concede that the best of the sites [of which this is the best] provide help/advice/info that is helpful to those who're taking their first baby steps...

    but a little does go a long way, imo...
     

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