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Post Reply How do I tell whether or not my writing is awful?
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Posted 3/15/14
That's a tough one. No matter how "good" you are, though, there will always be people who think otherwise or dislike your style of writing. Maybe instead of dwelling on whether or not you're good, just try to enjoy yourself and improve, because no matter how good there's always room for improvement.
Posted 3/24/14 , edited 3/24/14

how does one go about determining whether or not what they put out is truly something good? Should the author even care?


The author must like one's subject. One must do constant research and understand one's characters and setting so that the audience may experience as one is expecting them to experience. Being unsure of thy writing is a pitfall. One must control the audience and not let them control what one writes about.
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Posted 3/24/14
In a larger context, I don't think it matters whether or not your writing is awful. If you really want to know the terrible truth, have someone you trust to be honest read your work. But I really don't think it matters. Basically, almost all writing is terrible. Almost all published writing is terrible. Just take a wander through the romance section of your local bookstore and grab something at random. Of course, you could also compare yourself to a master and make yourself feel bad if that is what you want to do, but I don't think that is very productive or healthy.

I will say this. The only person who's opinion about the quality of your work matters is you . If you are happy and satisfied, then that is good. If you read your work and hate it, give it another go or throw it out. Accept criticism with an open mind, but make all final decisions yourself, because what is the point of creating something if you are unable to take responsibility for it?
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 3/24/14
In Russia, writing tells you.
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Posted 3/28/14
Interesting. That's the keyword. If you can write something that makes people want to keep reading, then you're on the right track. This may seem kind of like an ominous answer, but when you really think on it that's what everything boils down to.
An example is writing a story for a book... or just writing a book. What I've found is that there are two things that make a story interesting: characters that readers can become easily attached to, and a never-ending stream of interesting and mesmerizing conflict. I'm kind of trailing off into storywriting, but hopefully I've made my point. Consider what you're writing for, pull information from anything of that particular type of writing style that you can to figure out what makes that sort of work interesting, and write away. Everything else is, to put it bluntly, instinct. Not everyone is born to be a writer.
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Posted 3/31/14

DanielLWall wrote:

Interesting. That's the keyword. If you can write something that makes people want to keep reading, then you're on the right track. This may seem kind of like an ominous answer, but when you really think on it that's what everything boils down to.
An example is writing a story for a book... or just writing a book. What I've found is that there are two things that make a story interesting: characters that readers can become easily attached to, and a never-ending stream of interesting and mesmerizing conflict. I'm kind of trailing off into storywriting, but hopefully I've made my point. Consider what you're writing for, pull information from anything of that particular type of writing style that you can to figure out what makes that sort of work interesting, and write away. Everything else is, to put it bluntly, instinct. Not everyone is born to be a writer.


Well, since that's the case, did you happen to like the other stuff I've recently posted?
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Posted 4/25/14
I just want to say that this thread made me less scared to share my stuff with my friends.
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Posted 5/11/14
To make the story unpredictable. So many stories are so predictable:p Also spelling. That's why I don't write. Spelling is not my strong point.
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Posted 5/30/14

Lethargic_leopard_Seal wrote:
Being here means the obvious; I'm more or less of a writer of some kind, and if you've caught a glimpse what I post in the general discussion, I do my best to be one that's clever enough to entertain people. The thing is though, I can't help but think that I might actually be fairly bad at what I do. Sure I tend to get praise when I make my writings public for either here or my classes, but how does one go about determining whether or not what they put out is truly something good? Should the author even care, or just go the octopus mother route, letting the greater community decide the fate of the offspring?


This is probably the best thread I've come across since joining CrunchyRoll. Really changed my perspective on its community.

Props for creating it.


As for what I have to contribute, not much. My philosophy matches Schnipdip's.


schnipdip wrote:
I think what makes a good writer is truth. They talk about truth.


Truth is what matters, although I prefer to call it meaning. Robert Frost called it the "Sound of Sense", which I thought was very fitting for a poet.



Hayagriva wrote:
A well-written story that does nothing special will sell/be enjoyed. A poorly executed story that had one or more great ideas is a damn shame, and will be forgotten. That should take a lot of stress off of you, depending how serious you are.

Every book I write has different rules - determined by the above, and by that book. There is no end to the tweaks you can make, but apart from stylistic considerations (which depend on preference, genre, grammar, etc), every work will lay down its own rules that you cannot violate after you've set them down. Not without redoing the whole damn thing. As strange as it sounds, you need to be constrained by the limitations you set down, because that will tell you whether or not you've succeeded (whether or not it's any good). This happens a lot with characters, especially. Highbrow things like theme emerge AFTER you've written the piece, and it's the job of editing to bring it out.

Oh yeah. Learn to edit. Everything that's "bad" gets fixed in editing. People who don't edit are not writers, period. It sometimes takes me hours to fully edit my longer forum posts. It's also editing that will tell you what you need work on in general.

There are, of course, different emphasis on different types of writing. In poetry you're supposed to be as lyrical as possible. If you write a novel that way, you'll be laughed at, and rightly so. If you want to write comics, there's a lot of descriptive language you can skip over, because you'll have pictures doing most of your job for you.


I thought this was good advice, for the most part.

Personally, I edit a lot and concur with editing being necessary, although I'd hesitate to apply this to others. Passion and inspiration are temporary, arbitrary things, and it can be taxing to edit. Sometimes, I find myself tiredly replacing sentences only to realize the final product was worse than the original, and on top of that I am now entirely disinterested in the topic altogether.

I agree completely with matching your style to the outlet best suited for it and about the limitations. It is kind of ironic that writing is popularly supposed to be an unhindered, freer form of expression, because I consider good writing to be restricted to a very narrow subset of directions and possibilities. This is not to say that certain themes or plots trump other ones, rather that once you start a story, its merit is subject to deterioration as it chooses one word over another.
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