The Writer’s Perspective

As my own writing has progressed, I’ve begun to take greater notice of other people’s writings. “I could have done that better” or “If I were the one writing that, I would have done it differently.” Things like that. It’s arrogant, I know, but it’s hard to stop myself. I put myself in the shoes of the writer and think about how I might tackle the story if I were writing it. Subtle changes and major changes, or maybe even admiration for a turn of phrase or story twist or description that really stands out as the work of a superior writer. Writing my own stories has given me a great appreciation for writing that’s well done [in a variety of mediums], but it’s also made it a little harder for me to bear inferior writing.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of the latter going around. Some of the things that stand out to me are the overuse of cliches, the reliance on disembodied narrators, and an overall sloppiness or laziness with regards to writing. Not everything can be a masterpiece for all time, but why can’t writers of books, TV shows, and movies put a little bit more effort into their works? I almost wish that I didn’t get so worked up about that sort of thing, since it would make it that much easier for me to enjoy the kinds of stories that now make my blood boil. But that’s how it is and I have my own obsession with writing is to blame.

But there is an upside to all this. I’m able to see the pitfalls that trip up other writers and I remain conscious of those things when I’m writing my own stories. By seeing things that I don’t like it other writers, I’m able to purposefully avoid those things in my own writing. Does it always work? No, unfortunately it doesn’t. I’m sure I’m making some of the same mistakes, but it’s certainly less than if I was paying attention to what other people were writing and the way in which they write. And this plays directly into why it’s so important, if you’re a writer, to READ. Reading exposes you to writing good and bad, let’s absorb techniques and tricks, and helps you to better understand what works and why. Writing has definitely changed the way I think about a lot of things.

I just hope that no one’s looking at my writing and saying “Wow, this guy’s terrible. I’d never have written that.” Haha.



Filed under Writing

4 responses to “The Writer’s Perspective

  1. With you on the whole reading thing: I find if I immerse myself in a particular writer I begin to sound like them. We internalise all the best that writer has to offer.

  2. I’ve found myself doing that a few times, though I try to avoid just copying a particular writer’s style just for the sake of copying it. I’d much rather take what that writer did right and merge it in with my own voice, so that I can be my own writer and use my own ideas rather than just outright aping someone else.

    It’s a balance, certainly.

  3. I’m not a professional writer but I do that all the time! I usually don’t think I’d necessarily do it better, but I do think “I would have added this” or “I would have solved that in this way”… I think it’s part of the process of critical reading, LOL. Then I think “who am I to think I’d do better than these people?” and, anyways, it’s not like what I think or I’d do matters, cause I won’t re-write their stories. I only try to include or think about those critics when I write something myself… But yeah, I can’t stop myself either. xD And I’m even less “entitled” than you to think that way! Hahaha! 😀

  4. I think doing that actually gives me ideas for my owns stories, from the standpoint of “What IF the writer took the story in this direction?” and then write my own story with my own characters that goes off in that different direction. My writing definitely wouldn’t be as good as it is now if I didn’t pay such close attention to how other writers do things and think how that applies to my own writing.

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