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Writing books but not a reader?

(64 Posts)
AgeBeforeBeauty Sat 24-Aug-19 19:18:06

Just wondering if it is madness. I don't read books, but like writing and have lots of ideas. Presumably as I don't really read fiction, there's not much chance of getting published?

TraceyHorrobin Sat 24-Aug-19 19:43:37

Why not read around a bit in your chosen genres as research?

AgeBeforeBeauty Sat 24-Aug-19 20:26:04

I haven't chosen a genre! Is it really true that people just write in one genre? I have some ideas for childrens books, some fantasy, some more real-life type writing ... doesn't sound like I fit into what a traditional author does, right?

GloriousMystery Sun 25-Aug-19 00:51:12

Why would you want to write books when you don’t read them?

WereYouHareWhenIWasFox Sun 25-Aug-19 00:54:17

I can’t imagine anyone can write well if they don’t read themselves. Surely it’s research? And without the research your own writing must be very one dimensional?

Sparklypen Sun 25-Aug-19 00:54:26

They do say you have to be a reader to be a writer ...

theunrivalledjoysofparenting Sun 25-Aug-19 00:58:33

I’m an editor.

Yup, madness. You have to read to know how to write well.

I honestly can’t even... you don’t read books? I edit for a living and read for pleasure every day too. How can you not?

Plus, who do you think will buy your books if you don’t buy any books?

You don’t have to be published. You can self publish. Do some research.

Do you just have ideas, or have you worked any of those ideas down into actual writing? Most writers don’t cross genres. They get known for one genre... and then it can be hard to change to another. I can’t think of a writer who write in many genres.

stayathomer Sun 25-Aug-19 01:08:24

Make a list of your ideas and see which one grabs you. Then just start writing ideas about that story. Look up some of the top authors in the genre you've chosen and try to read one of them. Don't worry about publishing yet, just work out your story. Y o u can either just start writing or plan some more. Write notes on where it is set and who your characters are. Look on Facebook for writing groups but make sure you find one you click with, there are some negative people out there!! Alternatively join a creative writing class or a local writing group for some direction. I'm afraid you will have to read, it broadens your vocabulary and perspective and shows you also what works and doesn't. Best of luck OP!

timshelthechoice Sun 25-Aug-19 01:12:39

'Only amateurs write more than they read.'

stayathomer Sun 25-Aug-19 01:18:44

Oh and ignore all the negatives on this thread,Just get reading!

AgeBeforeBeauty Sun 25-Aug-19 08:13:10

Thanks @stayathomer - I will take your advice. In terms of 'research', I'm not too sure what you all mean? Does it mean looking at writing styles, or something else?

Not sure I understand what this adds, surely you're more likely to unconsciously use other people's styles or ideas? What's wrong with starting with a fresh mind?

Silversky70 Sun 25-Aug-19 08:22:07

Give us a couple of paragraphs here...

QuaterMiss Sun 25-Aug-19 08:22:29

Can you say why you don’t enjoy reading?

IndefatigableMouse Sun 25-Aug-19 09:18:57

Reading is how you know what’s been done before (and how to avoid it or give a fresh slant).

Reading is how you grow to understand story structure.

Reading shows you how the best authors write in all their different styles

Reading is what gives you your vocabulary.

Now, if I’m in full on crazy writing mode I may not read as much as usual (as I have limited free time) but I will forever be a reader.

Someone who doesn’t read who has lots of ideas from a gazillion genres, sounds like they think writing and editing is easy - it’s really hard.

I’m sure there are some successful non-reading writers, but they will be the exception.

Reading is lovely anyway, so why not?

GloriousMystery Sun 25-Aug-19 09:37:05

When you write, what you are doing is giving the reader an experience. If it is not a gripping, engrossing, fundamentally enjoyable experience, the reader is bored and puts the book down.

If you have never been at the reader end of the relationship, you can have no possible clue how to create an experience for your reader that, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, will keep him/her inside your book for the number of hours or days it takes to finish it.

Any more than a chef who didn’t eat and wasn’t interested in food could make a palatable meal.

AgeBeforeBeauty Sun 25-Aug-19 09:41:28

Thanks for the honest opinions and insights. I think I'm not cut out to write if I don't enjoy reading. I'm not patient enough to read books, I don't get drawn in enough ... I have tried several times, although I used to be an avid reader as a child/teen.

Guess it's not for everyone, and with the number of people aspiring to be authors who actually read, sounds like it's not going to be my cup of tea.

Verily1 Sun 25-Aug-19 09:47:50

You have probably just not found the right books.

I write but I hardly read any fiction.

I find most novels far too descriptive and drawn out. I’m impatient and want to get to the end in 2 hours.

I’d suggest starting with collections of short stories- that gives you a taste of reading without a big time investment.

QuaterMiss Sun 25-Aug-19 10:04:55

It really isn’t a matter of ‘aspiring’ ...

Have you written, or tried writing anything recently? Are you currently writing? How has that been going?

GloriousMystery Sun 25-Aug-19 10:14:53

But OP why would you even want to invest a huge amount of time and effort to create things you don’t enjoy consuming? I find that genuinely puzzling.

@Verily1, are you a published fiction writer? If so, I think you are vanishingly unusual.

AgeBeforeBeauty Sun 25-Aug-19 10:21:00

Glorious I have made up stories for my children and nieces/nephews since they were little ... it brings them such joy, I just haven't ever written them down. It's not for me to create for my own enjoyment, but to see if they bring joy to others?

Pinkblueberry Sun 25-Aug-19 10:22:28

It does seem a bit odd, but if you enjoy writing I think that’s the main thing - do you like reading back what you’ve written? I think in terms of publishing it can be a bit tricky - if you don’t read books how do you get an idea about writing dialogue, choosing whether to write in first or third person, balancing description and action etc - I would say most writers learn to write from other writers, so subliminally by reading.

Windbeneathmybingowings Sun 25-Aug-19 10:25:33

If you don’t read, how will you judge the quality of your own work. Take a break magazine vs Virginia Woolf. You could be anywhere on that spectrum and that will matter hugely to your own development as well as to exactly who is going to be reading your stuff.

Windbeneathmybingowings Sun 25-Aug-19 10:26:52

I don’t drive but I could make a fantastic formula 1 racing car driver.

AgeBeforeBeauty Sun 25-Aug-19 10:32:28

I don't drive, but I can build a car for others to drive.

I am vegetarian but can cook meat for others.

I don't eat sugar, but can bake cakes.

iklboo Sun 25-Aug-19 10:37:55

Are there any creative writing courses in your area? Or writing groups? They can be really helpful in guiding style, getting constructive criticism & feedback.

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