Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Critical Reader

Writers are perhaps the most critical of readers. I suspect if they
weren't they would never have started writing in the first place.

We can also be some of the most intensely devoted fans. Perhaps because
we know how hard it can be to write well.

For enjoyment, I read more mystery than science fiction. Yet science
fiction is generally the genre I write.

As far as science fiction goes, the good short stories I've read far
outnumber the good novels I've read. The good short stories have also
been more memorable, for the most part, than the good novels.

Short stories have punch.

I easily can get impatient with an author who lards his 100,000+ story
with unnecessary words, needless pandering, and coarse language or sex.

When I get fed up with a story, I can pick up another book. Or I can go
write one of my own. As writers, we don't have to put up with any
writing we don't want to read. Because we know we can write something
we'll like better. And maybe that other people will like, too.

Would writers enjoy reading more if they didn't write? I doubt it.
It's not bad to be opinionated, as long as you don't go overboard with it
and act obnoxious.

1 comment:

Brandon Barr said...

Good thoughts Alice :)

I agree, I become amazed at good writing, knowing how difficult it is to pull off. It gives me a deeper respect for the story itself...

For me, it can also be hard, because I'm so critical of my own works, they rarely measure up to what I want them to be. But there are exceptions where I feel I succeed.