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message 1: by Madison (last edited Feb 22, 2016 06:14PM) (new)

Madison Siegle (maddies1995) | 57 comments So I was reading a story today, and I got so invested in it that halfway through when there was a sad moment, I started crying.

Now I know it doesn't take a lot to make me cry (I'm sappy), but still. The story had characters that were so fantastic, and they were so REAL and so THERE. The story was woven perfectly and seemed complex even though the idea wasn't, and I'm honestly in awe of it.

But I'm actually really sad because I feel like I'll never write like that. I've never made someone cry over my stories. I know lots of them are happy too, but not even the sad ones.

I just feel like mine will never be that way. There is certainly a place for fun, cheerful pieces that are just meant to be that way. To be clear, I'm not saying there's anything "wrong" with my writing. More that it can't do what I wish it would.

But I really want to connect to someone with what I write. I feel like my writing is lacking . . . well, substance. Not in plot or characters or setting. It's not technicalities or something you can really learn.

I feel like I can't provide that substance to make my characters do that to people and to actually connect on some sort of deep level to a person, which really sucks because that's what I want the most as a writer. Even when I try and convey who they are, when I've thought deeply about them, I can't imagine someone being so emotionally attached to them besides me.

I'm just ridiculously sad about it and really bummed.

What do you guys think? Have you ever felt this way? Is it just the way it is? I'm sure someone will tell me that it's because I'm young, but the author of the story I cried for is even younger than me. Anyone?


message 2: by Scorpio-of-Autumn (last edited Feb 22, 2016 06:30PM) (new)

Scorpio-of-Autumn | 35 comments Testify! Finally, I know I'm not alone with this thought pattern. I can't help but think that way when I read amazing books. I'm currently reading Six of Crows and it's so amazing, it actually makes me a little jealous. I guess writers like us just have to try our best and cross our fingers when it comes to making that big of an impact on our readers.

BTW, am I the only one who can't help but feel we'll never be successful because of mega-successful franchises like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones? I'm taking a Harry Potter literature class at school, and I adore the books and the movies, and J.K. Rowling is a wonderful person, but I almost feel defeated as a writer underneath its shadow.


message 3: by Madison (new)

Madison Siegle (maddies1995) | 57 comments Scorpio-of-Autumn wrote: "Testify! Finally, I know I'm not alone with this thought pattern. I can't help but think that way when I read amazing books. I'm currently reading Six of Crows and it's so amazing, ..."

I know exactly how you feel. You're always going to be compared to such amazing big writers. And then all the amazing ideas have been taken already, so even if you try and breathe new life into them, you end up being compared or accused of plagiarizing an idea that every big author had.

It's actually really relieving to know I'm not alone though. It seems as if people make writing easy almost. They have no trouble making amazing works of art. Although, I guess I don't know if they had trouble or not, I just read the outcome.

Oh well. :(
We'll figure it out one day, hopefully.


message 4: by Zach (new)

Zach Tyo (ztyo) | 55 comments I think its natural for all authors to feel this way. What you have to do, in my opinion, is focus on what makes your writing special. There are authors who can make you cry with what seems like little effort. Others can make you feel fear, even when movies and other stories have jaded us. Still others can have us sitting on pens and needles.

Your writing will affect someone in the way you intend it to, sometimes it may take years to hit that right note with that right audience.

As far as authors becoming successful I think those authors just help us. Nobody wants to be compared to Rowling, King, or Faulkner. But those authors are paving, or have paved, the way for the rest of us. They've created more readers whose demands need met. All we have to focus on is quality writing and the readers will come...though they haven't found me yet.


message 5: by K.C. (new)

K.C. Knouse (kcknouse) | 7 comments Madison wrote: "So I was reading a story today, and I got so invested in it that halfway through when there was a sad moment, I started crying.

Now I know it doesn't take a lot to make me cry (I'm sappy), but sti..."


Madison, if you write something that moves you, it will move others in the same way. If you create characters to which you become attached, others will become attached to them in the same way.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) Madison,
remember this:
1) writers are the worst judges of their own work
2) I'm sappy when I read other people's work, but I can never ever cry on my own. But one day a long time ago at the end of the 20th century, when I was still in high school and gave my notebooks to classmates, I discovered that #1 is actually a rule: a story that didn't make me cry at all made my classmate turn to me with tears running down her cheeks and saying "This story is so beautiful and moving!" - it was just another love story to me...
So don't worry, keep writing, stick to your voice.
Only now - 30-40 years later - I sometimes (and I stress "sometimes"!) feel a lump in my throat when I write or reread my own stuff. And I still cry for books or movies.
Just my two cents! :) Happy writing!


message 7: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) | 140 comments The older you are, the more chances you've had to experience strong emotions. As I'm writing, I remember those times and try to bring that experience to my writing. The joy of seeing my first child in a crib. The happiness of an experience shared with my wife. The sadness of losing someone. The pain of remembering when I've hurt someone I should not have hurt. The pain of being hurt by someone who should not have hurt me.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann Reed (anncampbellreed) | 1 comments Remember, behind every amazing book is an equally amazing editor! Great authors also require beta readers, multiple edits and revisions, and tinkering to get their work to the finished product you love. Not that you should depend on editors to make your work what you want it to be, but instead realize that the authors you love have the exact same insecurities and tribulations as the rest of us!


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