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  1. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Which Are You? Better Reader or Better Writer?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lmc71775, Sep 25, 2010.

    Okay I know it may seem silly if you think a writer or author can't possibly be bad at reading, right? WRONG! I will be the first to admit. I am a horrible reader. I usually am not in the mood to read, but I FORCE myself EVERYDAY to read and read and write as much as possible. When time allows.

    If I am not into reading, I find it hard to concentrate. My mind wanders too much.

    But when I write, it's like reading my mind without even trying sometimes. I love writing better. And then when it's complete, like a chapter or story or poem, I can kick back and read it.........................but like I said, I still struggle some times with it. It's that creepy real life I am in bugging me to come back to it. LOL

    Was wondering how everyone else felt about their reading and writing skills.
     
  2. mummymunt
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    mummymunt Member

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    I'm sure my husband would be ecstatic if I was a bad reader like you, but I've been a bookworm practically since birth. When I was seven or eight years old I read Snugglepot & Cuddlepie by May Gibbs (200 or more pages, I believe - the copy I have now doesn't have numbered pages) in one day.
    As an adult I have repeated this effort many, many times. It's harder now with two young children, but I do what I can and usually have at least three books going at one time :)
    As for my writing, if I was as prolific with that as I am with reading I probably would have finished a couple of dozen novels by now. I have a pretty savage self-editor living in my poor, overheated brain, and it often doesn't let me get very far before I have to go back and hack what I've just written to pieces.
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I wasn't (still can't claim to be but I am almost there) an avid reader. And then I started writing, ever since then I am enjoying my reading more and more, which in turn is helping in improving my writing. So it goes like this: Writing makes me better reader, reading makes me better writer.
     
  4. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing that Mummymunt, I envy you.

    I like this. I think you nailed it. With everything it takes time, practice does make prefect if you work you heart into it. this is a good way to live by. Nice statement!
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I grew up as a bookworm, too. I loved reading and still do. But writing focuses me more. Nothing I've ever done in my life makes me concentrate as much as writing does - I feel like I devote more of my brain to writing than to reading. I don't know if that makes me a "better" writer than reader, but there it is.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I love to do both. I wish I could do more of both.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am much more experienced reader than writer - I have read thousands of books but only written one. I am passionate about stories no matter where it comes from, doesn't need to be a book, I listen to books on the radio, poetry reading etc. I love story in computer games, and TV shows. I love it in play form. Legends and ballads - ancient myths, real life - I was studying to be an archaeologist I used to love taking an artefact and telling it's story, coming across something in a museum box that noone else has seen in 100 years is exciting, finding and recreating a pot that hasn't been seen in 900 years is amazing but it is all story and telling of it. I love mathematical equations and science because of the stories there, I just love story lol It seeps into my soul and takes me away from my life. I am blessed to be a very fast reader and can read a novel in around 2-4 hours so can go through a lot. I read less now works out about thirty books a year rather than the 5-30 books a week before i left school.

    However I am aware of how much confidence that gives me in my stories as I tell them. I know what I like in a story, I know what grips me. As a result I know my story is good. I know about playing around with punctuation and what has worked in stories I have read. I understand about voices, I understand what works by way of POV and what stories work best in first, second, third person. Which ones don't work as well. I know what I like with past and present tense. I knew about Mrs Malaprop and that I wanted one in my story. I know about the fun verbose characters I have read. I know how much description I like.

    My book is written based on what I love to read, watch on TV etc - there are elements from the best stories in my book.

    However I like my story - I enjoy reading it and I am as passionate about my own characters and story, as I am about those in other books. I have taken control like I do with my reading and written what I like. With my reading I do not care about the author I will skip pages - move on if I don't like them. And I am not scared to put down a book I don't like. I need to love the character to invest time with what to me feels like a good friend for those few hours. I usually read the same book 5+ times if I love it.
     
  8. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm definitely a better reader. I've read avidly since I was five or six, and I started reading adult fiction around 11 or so.

    To me, being an avid reader is one of the most important steps to becoming a writer, at least as far as unpublished writers go. It's how you soak up the tropes and cliches and know what's been written and what new stuff you want to write.
     
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  9. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's pretty much me. :p I do love reading, but I tend to put books down and forget about them, and I do have to remember it's a thing I can do for fun... Sometimes, of course, I'll be in the mood, grab a book, and read almost the whole thing at once. But generally when I'm having me time I end up writing instead of reading. I need to keep big stacks of fiction around me to remind me that I have hundreds of books for the sake of reading them, not decorating my room. :p
     
  10. Kichae
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    Kichae New Member

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    I'm a terrible reader. I regularly start books and never finish them. Some days I can't even get through magazine articles which are focused on subjects which interest me. I'm such a creature of the TV/computer generation.
     
  11. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Probably a better writer. I love love love to read, but I tend to get too easily distracted while reading. Something about writing makes it easier to stay focused.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    unhumble as it may seem to some, to be honest i have to say that i'm better than most humans at both...
     
  13. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Wow mamamia, if you are better than most humans at both, can you help me to become better? I kinda stink at both. I think though, that I am better at reading than writing, but compared to you, I'm probably hopeless.
     
  14. Blips
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    Blips Member

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    Definitely a better reader. Hopefully over time I'll be able to increase my skill with a pen to match the skill of my eyes.
     
  15. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing keeps me awake. Reading sends me to sleep.
    The latter, because I read in bed at night.
     
  16. Aimster
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    Aimster Member

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    Hmm...well it's pretty close, since I really love both, but I'd probably have to say reading just because I've been reading for most of my life and I've always loved to read, whilst I've only recently started writing seriously. :rolleyes:
     
  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Then I would suggest you try reading at a better time and in a better place.
     
  18. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    I couldn't agree with you more, Lmc. I, myself, don't read as much I as write. I probably read a page or two in a matter of months. I don't know why I never have the desire to read more. I think I'm just a picky reader, and I want something astounding every single time.

    But at this moment, I'm trying to stifle that feeling. Reading more will help me to become a better writer. Plus I'll finally have something else to do besides watching TV all day :D

    You should try to read books that were adapted into movies. Read the ones that are your favorites. (I loved Treasure Planet as a movie. So I went back and read Treasure Island again. This second reading has been a joy. I should have done it sooner).
     
  19. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    I used to be a pretty good reader, and not much of a writer. Lately though-- now that I'm about a third of the way through a first draft of my novel-- I've become a better writer and a terrible reader. I still read-- a lot. But I'm such a freak'n slow reader that I just can't get to all the books on my "to read" list as soon as I'd like. On the other hand, I can write pretty fast when I feel truly connected to the characters.
     
  20. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    If only the question was about how good you are compared to others. Alas, it was about whether you're better at one or the other. :(
     
  21. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess I'd need to know how better is. xD I am not a good reader. I feel I am a better writer, but a better watcher than both of them. Reading books does almost nothing for me. Watching does everything. :p
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ok, etan... i meant to imply that i'm equally good at either one... sorry i wasn't specific enough to make that clear... though to equate reading quality with writing quality seems odd to me, since one doesn't really need 'talent' or well-honed skills to read well, as one does to write well...

    sasha...
    i'd be happy to help you learn how to write better... i mentor writers of all breeds/ages and levels of ability, offer lessons to those who want to improve their skills... so just drop me a line if you want to join my mob of mentees...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The ability to take in story is as much a gift and talent as the ability to output one. Both require imagination, imagery and passion.

    Reading skills are honed just as writing ones are. General knowledge is a bonus with both and enriches both. I don't see someone sitting down to just 'read' CS Lewis Pilgrims Regress, Shakespeare, Burns, Grassic Gibbon, Legends in their original form without education to back that up. In the UK you used to 'read' for your degree the ability to use reading to take in and use information in certain ways requires education.

    The first degree course I took trained me in both reading and writing. An even bigger gifft that I appreciate is the ability to suspend my learning and just enjoy the story.
     
  24. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to take the side that reading is a skill, and that to be a good writer, it is extremely helpful--if not required--to be a good reader. if you've ever been a school lit class, as I imagine most of us have, you know that people read on all different levels, and that it most certainly involves talent and well-honed skills. Anybody can read a newspaper, but you notice that we have classes on how to read shaksespeare, but not how to read the new york times.
     
  25. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    Better writer, but it's easier being a reader.
     

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