10 comments on “Who Am I to Judge?

  1. I definitely think some people are better editors than they are writers. I’ve felt that about myself for a long time, but I want to write a novel so badly, so I keep on trying. For you, if it’s something that you really don’t want to put the effort into, it’s understandable to feel like you should take a step back. But I think that you shouldn’t underestimate your opinion on things. Everyone has good insights on how a book should/could have been better, and others won’t have the same opinion, but that’s why book reviewing/editing is such an interesting process. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but the insight is something that good authors can reflect upon to figure out whether they want to take that advice or not. :)

    • I also just realized I didn’t really answer the question. Since I write fiction, but am relatively new to it considering I haven’t had the insight and knowledge in the past that I do now, I feel that my approach in writing is very different than it is in reading. I read things because they sound interesting, I don’t really have a set genre that I read a ton of, I’ll pretty much try to read almost anything. I’ve noticed my writing tends to angle toward the adventurous or supernatural-ish, but I don’t read many supernatural books. Perhaps that would help my writing of said books. :) I feel the more we read, the better we get at recognizing good writing, which is really the only way we can get better at writing ourselves, besides the constant practice of it.

      • I tend to read a little of everything, and I’ve tried writing in several different genres as well, and it just never works. I come up with the big ideas — “a novel about such-and-such would be really cool” — and even a few of the plot points along the way, but I can’t turn it into a compelling story. I think writing good characters is my biggest problem. They never feel real, and so the whole thing just falls flat.

        Back to the point at hand, though… it does feel strange, knowing that I can’t reproduce it myself from scratch, but I do have very particular ideas about some of the nitty gritty (which of course is the part I never get to in my own writing). I’ll be reading a scene and think, “Hmm, I would have pushed this revelation back a few pages, it would have made a better reveal.” I guess it’s a Monday Morning Quarterback kind of thing.

  2. I’m terrified to write fiction, because I don’t really have any ideas. I sometimes feel really guilty for picking apart someone’s book, as the simple act of writing said book is more than I’ll ever accomplish, and yet… I do it anyway. But, I LOVE to read. And I want OTHER PEOPLE to read, too. So if I tell them about all the awesome books, perhaps they’ll read more. And if they avoid the pitfall of a novel they might not like? So much the better.

    • Exactly. And just because I might not be able to do better doesn’t mean I can’t tell what I do and don’t like to read. The guilt can creep in though.

  3. I can’t write fiction. I’ve tried, but my characters are so wooden we could pile them together and start a merry bonfire. Poetry, sure. Fiction, nope.

    But I read. A lot. And I feel I can give my opinion on how a book was. How I enjoyed – or didn’t enjoy – it. Sometimes, even, what I thought it was lacking. It is just my opinion, sure – but I have almost a lifetime of reading to back that opinion up, and as long as I think about what I’m going to say, I stand by my thoughts on a book, and could defend them, whether with a blog reader, or the author, if he or she chose to discuss the review with me.

    So, yes. I may not be able to WRITE fiction – but I know enough about it, I believe, to REVIEW fiction. And I think you do, too.

  4. Oh, gosh. Rediscovering myself as a writer and making myself produce has ruined some of my favorite books for me. I don’t know if I will ever be able to read “The Mists of Avalon” again. It is very, very poorly written. I know. It’s an icon, but there you go. I re-read it for the first time in a couple of years, and I don’t think I’ll be able to read it ever again. Makes me a little sad, really.

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