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Writers Discuss - Reading Part 1 (#22)

  • Member
    November 21, 2015

    Writers Discuss

    Topic #22 – Reading Part 1

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    For this week’s writer’s discussion I'm going to focus on something which I believe all writers should do, regardless as to how skilled and talented they are.

    I refer to that mental task of… reading.

    Here are some suggestions to think about….

    What kills the joy of reading?

    As a writer we all enjoy writing our stories else we wouldn’t write them to start with. How can we portray and pass on that enjoyment and passion to a reader?

    We’ve already talked about reader target groups. How though do you as a writer bring in new readers to your story without alienating the fan base you have already built?

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    If you have any suggestions for future topics include them in the comments section!

  • Member
    November 21, 2015

    For me the big question here is what kills the enjoyment from reading.

    It’s the god type characters. Tall, strong, highly skilled  and a weakness which is barely worth mentioning.

    There’s nothing worse than having the protagonist being able to outwit his/her opponent all the time. Fine, if they outwit them then don’t allow them to win in a standard fight as well...

    My hero, an Argonian, 'Blabbermouth Kills-With –A –Glance' is a werewolf. But he’s different ‘cause silver don’t affect him. When he first arrived at Skyrim he was a master at arms with any weapon you ever heard of and a few which you haven’t. He’s an Argonian so poison don’t affect him. He has Daedric Armor blessed by Hircine as well as Azura and a few other Daedra Lords to boot. He also wields Dawnbreaker and has Auriel's Bow.

    He weighs over 300 pounds and stands at seven feet but he can race along rooftops in full daedric gear and sneak up on the Dark brotherhood who are looking for him.

    What else? Oh yes... He’s bloody boring as hell.

    I’ve said it before and I stand by this. Every time a character gains in a skill he should lose a skill. There is a balance and every time you break this then he becomes too strong. If your guy is large and wears a heavy armor the is he really going to be running across rooftops as silent as an assassin?

    I can’t stand the guy that kills the dragon while he’s sitting in the chair with a flask of mead. I’m rooting for the one who has to use everything he has and even then luck plays it’s part. Fate favours him but then again it works against him as well.

    Let the characters have faults, and I'm not talking small ones. It's what adds to the richness of the story.

  • Member
    November 21, 2015

    Ah, you took the words right out of my mouth, Sotek. It stings when you realize how frequent these characters appear, and it aches even more when you realize you've probably done it several times in your life. I still find myself creating those characters even now. 

  • Member
    November 21, 2015

    If you're not a reader, you'll doubtless not be a writer--or, at least, not a very skilled one. I've instilled this notion time and time again in the writers' discussions, and it is this: writers mainly create their work through instinct and common sense. And in order to develop this instinct, you must have been reading from a young age. Note that I did not say in contact with; I said read. You must study the work of art if you wish to create it. 

    Whilst "perfect, god-like" characters can certainly mangle a story, while dues-ex-machina moments can soil a plot, and as improper grammar can cause a prose to crumble, I think not that is how reading is ultimately destroyed. What kills a story, what causes the love of reading to die out, is the lack space to allow the reader to instill themselves in the story.

    Ultimately, it is the excessive detailing of everything. 

    What a reader loves most about their pastimes is the ability to imagine, to fill the empty spaces the writer has provided with their blossoming ideas. But, if the writer was to fill all the holes there could be in a character--their size, their shape, their mannerisms, their expression at every conceivable moment--what is the fun of reading a story? The difference between readers and people who watch movies is the yearning to imagine what is happening as opposed to watch, in detail, what is happening. They can't do that when the writer swathes the book in description after description, tossing out measurements and color hues, assuming the reader would actually take time and read in detail the seven paragraphs of science data. 

    Yet, at the same time, I myself adore description. I love to create poetic prose and find inventive ways to describe the world around us. And to carry that love to the reader, I must take care to ease my way into the description, and not send a tidal wave of it in. 

    To bring in new readers that have not yet read your stories, I would simply say to continue on with my style of writing. If there is an aspect of my story that can be somewhat unappealing to others, a slow change towards the right direction can ease the readers into the change as well. 

  • November 22, 2015

    A little part of me wants you to create that very character for Shits and Giggles. Pardon my French. 

    The Adventures of Blabbermouth Kills-With-A-Glance has an awesome ring to it. 

  • Member
    November 22, 2015

    That'll have my vote. 

  • November 22, 2015
    Sounds like a very Vianto Diaries-esque story idea.
  • Member
    November 23, 2015

    TL;DR

  • January 10, 2016

    Ha! Funny. And clever.

  • Member
    January 10, 2016

    I'm on board with this.