Reply To: Controversial Opinion: “Reading makes your writing better” is bad advice

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Controversial Opinion: “Reading makes your writing better” is bad advice Reply To: Controversial Opinion: “Reading makes your writing better” is bad advice


Cathy my friend, you could cook a cow with that tongue of yours. Perhaps you could be a tad less…forceful next time.

*sheepish grin* You’re right I think I got a “little” (a lot) *ahem* carried away with arguing, I have a lot of siblings and close relatives who all enjoy bantering…intensely 😅. Thank you for correcting me, I need to very much rein in my tongue more. I’m sorry I grilled you @lrc and @shannon, it was an immature and unnecessary thing to do and you were right on a good many points for how you stop reading and start writing at a point <3

So, I definitely think there is such as thing as a beginner, and such as thing as a professional. Can professionals continue to learn and improve? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a vast difference between a pro and a amateur. The amount of research they have done, the skill and speed at which they write, and the amount they have written are all factor that play into whether a writer is a beginner or not. Also, their argument had nothing to do with vanity, I believe you construed their reasons in quite the wrong way. Their reasons were along the lines of they don’t like the pressure to read, they don’t think it improves them much at all(not because they’re vain, because they don’t see the value it adds, trust me, they don’t consider themselves pros by any means), and they think it distracts them. I disagree with these reasons, but it has nothing to do with vanity.

I see your point there. Everyone has a different level of skill depending on a lot of factors like their application, aptitude to the skill and manner of learning etc, and what helps someone starting won’t necessary help someone who has a lot of experience there. So a more mature writer should change their method a little from a beginner I guess, that definitely is a factor in a writing journey.

Also, I’m not sure your prayer and law analogies were that applicable.

Probably not XD
*has already forgotten half of whatever I wrote and glances back over it a little quizzically (Eesh, did I actually write that? In a really really super over-dramatic voice that nobody’s gonna hear over written-down posts…)*
*making a swatting motion at that argument* Forget the bad analogies, the main point is…*squints at my last post* “scruples over structures don’t make structures any less valuable because they’re misused” *pause* Nah, inapplicable to this argument since the main point wasn’t necessarily to abandon reading as to abandon reading at certain parts of the process.

I highly disagree with this, but I’ll let you be the one to use violent language.

Ok! Me to me; ahh the gall! The heart of your arguing is vanity, having to burst into such a heated reprisal just because you coul–*halts mid-insult to wonder if grilling myself isn’t more likely to perpetuate my argumentative nature instead of help…?* Well, it was my bad.

In regard to compulsion to read, you’re slightly talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say you should read, but you also say you should only do it if you enjoy it and it doesn’t take discipline. In this technology age, the ability to sit down and read for 2+ hours straight without being distracted or running out of time because one wasted it on online, is getting harder for people. So I have two thoughts: One, if one is a writer, than one should enjoy reading to an extent. Two, if it takes some compulsion sometimes, then so be it, because breaking technology addictions to sit and read often does take some compulsion. So essentially what I am saying, is some compulsion is fine with me.

I see what you’re saying here, but I would like to make a distinction between discipline and compulsion in that discipline is something hard you undertake because you choose it’s benefits where compulsion is something hard you undertake because you’re afraid of the consequences of failing to do so.
But in that case too, compulsion can be necessary some of the time to break away from technology addictions or obsession with other projects or such. So that makes sense, I agree with you there now.
(Btw, 90k words in 5-6 weeks is pretty impressive ;), I’ve actually never met a “pure” outliner before, what’s your method?)

You made the comment that quote “you cannot write without reading.” As I said, I agree with your view as a whole, but I might disagree with that statement. If you haven’t read very many books, than yes, you’re going to be a bad writer. But what @LRC and @shannon were saying was that they felt they had read enough and it didn’t help them anymore. Now, I disagree with them, I think it still can help them (read my comment for why), but I wouldn’t say you can’t write if you don’t read. Pick a big name author, if that author never read again, I believe they could still put out great books with little difficulty. I’m not sure if that was what you meant (that you have to read forever to write), but I just wanted to mention it.

Fair point. I never really thought of an example as extreme as never reading again and still being able to produce great books, I don’t know if I agree that they could at least on the long-run, but if they hadn’t read in a long time, maybe even years, maybe so. But following that example too far would be too theoretical to “prove” either way.
I do think from time to time writers do have to read to refresh their minds with new ideas, concepts or mindsets or just get out of their own thoughts for a little but good authors with writing experience and everything probably could go years without reading and still write something fantastic. I think it would take its toll eventually though if they kept up that trend.

I’m game to discuss theology with you, I quite it enjoy it. However, I would rather it be a friendly discussion than a fight.

Lol ok! I promise I’ll try very very hard to not get carried away XD. There’s so much theology to talk about really, where would you like to start? If I can ask, what’s your religion? I know there’s Messianic, Baptists, Evangelists, Church of Christ…*can’t think of any others off the top of my head* Idk if that’s a rude question or not…sorry about my sharp-tongueness XD


Hiya! Welcome aboard! 😁

May I just add though, that sometimes it’s okay to read a poorly written story on occasion?  Please hear me out.  If reading well-written stories can help sharpen our skills, then what if poorly-written stories can help us recognize common writing pitfalls?

Oh I agree there! I’ve never read a poorly written story on purpose but *actually has watched more poorly written movies than books…* I can definitely learn from them and pull ideas. I know when I watch movies that have, say, an interesting enough concept with horrible execution I can look at what they did that didn’t do right (usually poor investment in the characters, setting or overplotting too many ideas in too small a timeframe) or if they had a cliché idea with reasonable execution etc. It can really teach a lot (and it usually leaving me pinponging ideas for weeks on the bigillion different ways to re-imagine the story improved or just scrap the good ideas, concepts techniques teased from the bad ones)
Anyway, now you can through the rocks at me instead 😉 *I’ll throw them back, if anyone…wasn’t wondering :D*

Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

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