1. amble
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    amble Member

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    The more you read your own work, the worse it sounds?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by amble, Aug 4, 2010.

    Wondering if anyone has this problem or if it's just me. I've just finished a lengthy introduction and back setting to the main story.

    Obviously I've now gone back and read over it multiple times for corrections, edits and see if it flows ok. The problem is I'm getting disheartened - I think I've read it that many times I'm bored of it and it seems to get worse and cornier each time through.

    Does this happen to everyone, I remember the first few times I was really motivated and convinced it was decent enough, now I'm beginning to dread starting the read through again, knowing exactly how it starts etc.

    Very frustrating. Is it something that you have to persevere with or do you generally know if it's worth tossing away at this early stage?
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two trains of thought here. Clearly refining your work is advisable, and you should most definitely go back and re-read it. The question is when, and how much time to spend doing it. If you spend too much time doing it up front, you end up in your scenario - one I've heard called "paralysis by analysis".

    Writers tackle the problem differently, but IMO the most important thing is to get your ideas to paper, rather than to overly refine a short passage - or introduction. Sketching out the whole story then refining may be a tactic you wish to employ.

    Again IMO most ideas are worth exploring, no matter how unoriginal or "corny" - it is your skill as an author to elevate that premise into a worthwhile read. With that in mind, I wouldn't scrap your project but, rather, think where you want it to go and work on that.
     
  3. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off I'd suggest not doing this. Backstory should be brought up when necessary and needed. We don't need to start a book where all the backstory and such is revealed. It becomes annoying to read and the readers begin to wonder why we need to know this now? What this is just seems to be infodumping which is not needed. I can't say for certain whether this is your case, but it sounds like it.

    But as for your original question.

    Yeah all the time. I think for the most part its just all in my head... but I am a terrible judge when it comes to my own writing. I mean I either think it is the best thing ever or its the worst thing ever and should be burried somewhere in the desert.

    But you just got to push through any doubts and continue to write and revise. :)
     
  4. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    No, I think I never had that problem.
    In fact whenever I read, I always find out about something that needs correction, even if just a word.

    I actually think, re-viewing my own work, is actually funny, or the funniest part, because I always type something really awkward, so it´s a job that provides awsome laughs :D
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Been there, done that.

    I can work with my prose and storytelling techniques until I'm completely satisfied, but there's always the doubt that what I write is kitsch and anyway, who would be interesting in reading it?!
     
  6. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    When you edit and re-edit many times over you become too close to the writing, so my advice is for you to leave it for some weeks or may be months, take up some other project (or in your case finish other parts of the story) and then go through it once again with fresh eye.

    And obsess editing of the intro/opening before you complete the whole story is not advisable. The perfect opening that you write now may not seem so perfect after you complete the whole story.
     
  7. amble
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    amble Member

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    Thanks for the moral support so far - I think Manay is probably closest to what I mean. I feel I've reread the chapter so often I almost know it by heart now :confused:


    Yeah, probably worded it a bit wrong. Basically it's an event that takes place years before the story kicks off but it's relevant to set up the story as it defines a couple fo the characters and highlights a deep rooted resentment. It's going on a bit though, and I'm debating whether it should be a prologue or not, but it's starting to become expansive - aargh!!!
     
  8. JessaNova
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    JessaNova Senior Member

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    I feel like that about a lot of poetry I write, not when it comes to what little literature I have. I'll think it's stupid and get rid of it if it really bothers me.

    I let other people decide.

    "What do you think of this?"

    "Uh. I don't get it..."

    *Garbage*

    "%&#@...."
     
  9. VampyresProductions
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    VampyresProductions New Member

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    For me, personally, when I write something, re-read it, edit it multiple times, and read it in its entirety again, it becomes far less interesting to me. I begin to wonder if the storyline itself was ever interesting. But ultimately, when I get others' feedback I can get on with the story. :D
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Happens to me a lot. And time apart from the work doesn't seem to help. I've picked up pieces I wrote years ago and said "This is a work of GENIUS!" and then read the same thing the next day and thought it was garbage. I have zero ability to judge my own work after having gone over it a few times. I revise it two or three times, and from then on, I can't tell if it's great or if it's crap.

    Maybe it's great crap. That, at least, would be an achievement - one worth flushing ...
     
  11. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find thats the best time to edit it and jazz up the descriptions. Once I get to the chapter being completely finished then I find no I don't get bored with it, thats how I know its done.
     
  12. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Amble, I go through the same thing. It is very frustrating.

    But try not to be an editor - yet. Let yourself just shove out all that creativity in your head, then go back on your work after a few days, (if you can wait) keeping in mind that this is your first draft. Being the writer and not the editor so soon will let you write with ease and freedom and with less stress.
     
  13. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    A ton of back story gets annoying. Just bring up details on a need to know basis. :)

    Uh, yes. I have had that problem more so when I first started writing than now. If I have an issue with how I wrote it then I fix it. I don't get stalled out by it any more. It takes time and you have to have faith in your writing. :)
     
  14. Nervous1st
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    Nervous1st Senior Member

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    I have that exact problem. I've now banned myself from going over my work. I'm not going to allow myself to re-read a single word (other than the last couple of paragraphs to get me writing again) until the entire novel is finished.

    I have been writing this novel for a number of years and just got serious the beginning of 2009 and would you believe I am still only 20,000 words in. But that 20,000 words I've rewritten probably half a dozen times... first person, third person, present tense, paste tense blah blah blah. Only to end up becoming so frustrated, that when I had my baby back in February of this year, I put the entire thing away for over three months.

    I've made more progress since making this rule about a month ago than I have in the eighteen months I've been writing this beast. And get this, now that I'm further into the novel and have a better idea of how the story is going to work... the beginning has changed anyway :rolleyes:

    Another user of this site once said "don't get it right, get it written." It's so true.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't even reread my first draft much after I had finished it lol I then wrote the second draft without referring too it. I agree with this quote entirely
     
  16. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    The more I read my own stories, the more things I find that I want to change. A lot of things just sounds weird or corny, in my eyes at least. And I never get satisfied, so I can continue with one story, like, forever x)
     
  17. daisydaisy
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    daisydaisy Member

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    I get this. I think that the best thing to do when this happens to you is to put the story aside for a while, maybe a week, maybe a month, and work on something else. If you start doubting the story, you'll end up re-writing parts, and then it'll never get finished. The hardest challenge a writer faces is believeing in what we do, and getting the work finished.

    Hope that helps some,
    T xx
     

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