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How Many of You Read Your Own Writing?

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Sauce Bauss, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    This was something I was wondering when plotting out a piece of original fiction. Part of why I write is because the things I want to read don't exist. But if I write that thing into existence, would I even be able to enjoy it? So I ask my fellow authors, can and do you read your own work and enjoy it? Not as a technical piece or as an exercise in ego aggrandizement, but as a piece of literature on its own merits? Do you find yourself missing the mystery and magic because you know all the answers, and you're intimately aware of all the shortcomings and failures of your own work? Are you able to divorce yourself as the reader from yourself as the author and enjoy the ride as intended?

    I don't have a good answer for myself, so I put it to all of you.
     
  2. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    There's a different type of satisfaction to be had writing a story you want to read. I'm too tired to properly articulate it, but there is distinct satisfaction in putting into words a scene that's been stuck in your head that you've finally gotten around to writing.
     
  3. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    With anything creative I do - the more I look at it, the less I like it. Gotta learn to just publish and move on.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    Personally, I rather enjoy reading my own work. As a general rule, I don't go out of my way to read it, but it's not uncommon that I'll get a review or a like on a forum or whatever and be on the page, then just start reading it and look up fifteen chapters/posts later and realize what I did. It's not some deep, complex experience or anything, but it scratches the same itch as reading something written by someone else, so I'm perfectly willing to do it just for the sake of it.

    That said, the one thing that happens with reading my own work vs someone else's is that I'm much more critical. I keep finding myself going "Man, I really should have worded this differently" or "Wait, that didn't work at all, wtf was I thinking?" and I have to fight the urge to go back to the master docs and start making corrections. It doesn't ruin the experience for me or anything, but it's definitely noticeable and it tends to break immersion at times.
     
  5. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Personally I only ever write what I wish I had found ready for me to read but couldn't, so I sit down to write it myself. The end goal whenever I write in this way is always to make something that I can then read whenever I get the same craving. I've been generally satisfied with the results each time, relative to what I was aiming to make.

    So yes, I read my stories a lot. Occasionally fix an error or two, but mostly to entertain myself.
     
  6. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    A lot of times when I'm in a writing phase and take a break, I have to read it all again before I start back writing. Most of the time the thought of reading it all again is the thing that puts me off getting back into the swing of things

    Then I start thinking that if I don't enjoy my own writing, how is anybody else meant to? This kills the process altogether
     
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Sometimes? I'm never 100% satisfied with my work but sometimes I am 'happy' with what I wrote. It's not that often but it does happen. Just maybe only with 10% of what I've written, because the rest is shit.

    And in those cases I will sometimes find myself re-reading something years later and maybe wishing I'd worded something differently, sure, but still enjoying it. It's been long enough that writing it isn't fresh and it's a bit like what Jon and Agayek described. There's something satisfying about that scratches an itch, even if it's different.

    I guess it's like... the story will still be out there once it's written, whether you wrote it or someone else, it will be there, and that will be satisfying. Or at least I have my fingers crossed it will be - because I also want to (eventually) write a series of novels that are what I want to read, because so far no one else has.
     
  8. Lindsey

    Lindsey Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I started writing my current fanfic because I couldn't find anything like it. Due to this, anytime I come back to it after awhile and re-read it, I end up enjoying it and wishing there was more (yay motivation).

    I may not be the world's best writer but I'm still better than 95% of fanfic writers.
     
  9. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Third Year

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    I'm not a writer so it doesn't quite apply to me but I've made facebook/forum posts that were supposed to be clever/funny and years later the thread will get bumped or something happens to make it reappear and then I read the post, laugh out loud over it and think "Wow, that was good." Then I notice I was one one who came up with it and get this weird feeling of smug satisfaction.
     
  10. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    Yes, because I write stuff then leave them alone for years and by the time I get back to them, I've forgotten some details. Sometimes past me impresses me.

    Most of the time, I facepalm at how stupid I was.
     
  11. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    I write what I want to read, essentially because I perceive that the fandom is missing that particular combination of divergence and setup points. That being said, I do still find it hard to actually go back and read my own stories. Mostly because they're bad. But, I have gone back and reread Euphoria and I enjoyed it, perhaps because I was like 3 years removed from seeing anything in it.
     
  12. Tsar

    Tsar Fourth Year DLP Supporter

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    I avoid reading my own work because when I do I can't help agonizing over how sloppy it all feels.
     
  13. Silirt

    Silirt High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    I only reread my own work if it's been years and I don't hate the story. Sometimes reading it is enough to get me to hate it, but sometimes not. Presently I'm having to reread the first, I don't know, fifteen chapters of the story I'm writing because I deleted the sixteenth one, and now I have to rewrite it.
     
  14. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Auror DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I generally can't read and enjoy something I've written, because subconsciously I'm aware I can edit it and I'll catch stray commas or dialogue I don't like much more than any other story.

    However, after a period of many years I think that can go away, and I went back to a short piece I did, recently, and half way through could just enjoy it again because I didn't remember how it ended and that was a nice feeling. In general though, no. I write what I want to see but I can't enjoy it in the way I do any other story and I've always assumed others are the same. And that that's why so many people write something good and then stop before it ends, because they've gotten enough of it out and they know how it goes.
     
  15. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    I dunno if you would. Try it? :p

    The problem I have is the opposite -- I love my own writing to narcissistic degrees, which is not always helpful when editing. And additionally, it decreases productivity: Often, instead of continuing writing, I read the sentences I just wrote again and again because I like them that much. If you want to be charitable, I have a love for language and so I enjoy my words (among others).

    Lacking this (which is probably not too terrible ...) I would say it's much like reading a book you read before: The enjoyment is not in not knowing what will happen, but in the act of following along a story, a hero, events that appeal to you.
     
  16. Scarat

    Scarat First Year

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    I can't enjoy a story I wrote no matter how much the ideas intrigue me. It just breaks the immersion to know and remember the process of writing the story.
     
  17. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    I've never actually sat down and read something I've written start to finish, but sometimes when I'm checking something for continuity, I'll wind up reading a chapter or two, and often find something to be quite pleased with, even if it's just one nice turn of phrase.
     
  18. Erandil

    Erandil Minister of Magic

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    It isn't the most enjoyable thing I do since I would have to agree that it often results in me noticing mistakes and weaknesses in my writings but yeah I tend to read the stuff I write again though not for simple enjoyment. I mostly due it while writing in which case it isn't it untypical for me to rewrite entire scenes to fit the later/newer parts better (or fix mistakes) or alternatively when I come back to something I left some time ago. I sadly often tend towards a rather lacks attitude when it comes to storing information like "side" characters or descriptions of items and places in a sensible place/manner while at the same time viewing that sort of continuity as a key piece of any piece of fiction (and I guess it also shows my lack of editor...). Indeed in the later case re-reading my own work is one of the few effective ways I found at getting back into a certain narrative voice/tone.

    What I don't do is re-read my stuff for my own enjoyment.
     
  19. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I once wrote 30k in a week when I was incredibly sick and had no internet access - yup, I'll never be that productive ever again - and the whole thing was so different to how I normally choke out words (ie. reluctantly) that it felt entirely like reading something someone else had written. By the end of it, I was really enjoying it!

    So, of course, it ends mid-sentence in a really dramatic scene where Grindelwald is teaching Harry how to use the killing curse. Fuck. Wish I could get sick!me to update.
     
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