World, Writing, Wealth discussion

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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Are avid readers latent writers?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments I feel that it's something that probably sits on any reader's mind. What if I tried to write a book? Many will never make it happen, some will, if the right 'initiating' event occurs.
What do you think?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Can't be coincidence - I've found your statement to be very accurate.


message 3: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Not sure. You can love music, but if you can't play an instrument or sing, you're never going to make music... *whispers* I know lots of avid readers who are deficient an imagination. I guess their escapism is reading what others create...

When I'm not writing I'm reading, and as I'm pretty much always writing there's no time for reading...


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments More o(pi)nions maybe?


message 5: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments I expect it's the other way around. Latent writers tend to be avid readers, but not necessarily the opposite.


message 6: by Ray (new)

Ray Gardener | 42 comments I've always felt that avid reading can be a motive to write, because it's like a discussion group where one lurks for a long time and then says Hey, I also have something to say.


message 7: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments Read crappy books, and you think maybe you can write a book. Read great books, and you're pretty sure you can't.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments Self-doubt is definitely part of the process. Read Harlan Coben's interview, where he says something like that after all those mega-sellers still before the release of each new book he has doubts as to whether it'll be accepted well.
Sounds like you prove the theory -:)


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments Do you contemplate writing a book, if you haven't already?
For authors: Do you remember your pre- 'initiation' period? -:)


message 10: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments As far as me personally, I have always been an avid reader but I had never thought I would ever be good at writing. I've never been very good at creating something new and if I was going to write, I wanted it to be my own creation, not something I had copied from someone else's idea. The only reason I am a writer now is because of reading a biography of CS Lewis.

I think almost anybody can write. It's in how you perceive things and letting your more creative 'subconscious' mind do the thinking. Some people are able to do that and some can't. I don't think my writing is very good yet, since I've only been doing it for close to 2 years now, but it is definitely my own now. 😁


message 11: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments If I'm breathing, I'm reading. Sometimes I begin reading a book and can't get past 50 pages, and I think, "I could write something better than this."

Do you think it's true that each of us has at least one book in us?


message 12: by Esther (new)

Esther Tubbs | 36 comments In a way I do. I think that everyone has at least one story, either true or fictional. What people have to say is important.


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments Scout wrote: "Do you think it's true that each of us has at least one book in us?..."

Not necessarily, unless each personal autobiography qualifies for a book. And then - the 'extraction' problem is not an easy one to solve -:)


message 14: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments What is the extraction problem?


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments If the book is inside, it needs to be extracted, i.e. written. Not something rare or impossible, but not an easy task either. Having a worthy story isn't enough, the rendition is super important


message 16: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments I see what you're saying. Each of us has a story to tell, but we may not be able to put it into a readable form. I guess that's why famous people have someone else write their story.


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments Now that corona sidelines some activities, maybe more authors will come out of reader's closet? What do you think?


message 18: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I often encounter readers who are very insightful about story-telling technique.

Readers are a major source of good advice for authors.


message 19: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments I can write a legal brief which basically boils down to citing facts, citing law, and stringing them together with a theory and persuasive argument of why we should get what we are asking for. I can't write fiction. I just don't have that creative spark of imagination. I have never felt like I had a book in me.


message 20: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 1 comments Lizzie wrote: "I can write a legal brief which basically boils down to citing facts, citing law, and stringing them together with a theory and persuasive argument of why we should get what we are asking for. I ca..."

How about a factual book a memoir?


message 21: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments Philip wrote: "How about a factual book a memoir?"

Nah. My life has been a lot of craziness, secrets, drama - but never felt it would be something anyone would want to read. There have been occasions where I have written a page in regards to an event in my life, such as Christmas when I was 8 and whether Santa really existed, or written an email to an author where a topic was under discussion and I related events from my own life (my ex-spouse person announcing he was transgender and wanted to be a woman), and have been told I should write a book, but I have never felt the need to write one.


message 22: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments Is it a plus for a writer if she/he is a reader?


message 23: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments I would think readers make better writers. First, because they have increased their exposure to the mechanics and styles and, secondly, it provides research as to what is being written about and level of success in the targeted genre and audience.

Those who are authors will have to tell us.


message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15783 comments To want to write fiction one probably needs to love literature, which starts from reading. Non-fic might be different


message 25: by Cair-Paravel (new)

Cair-Paravel De Loulay | 39 comments I am always reading, but if I am not, then I am editing or writing for myself. My stream of thought never stops. It simply a constant flow, varying from a a trickle to a rushing wave. I have several that just need finishing, with others in much earlier stages.

My problem is that I require perfection from myself, and I have yet to reach that goal. My gauge is whether I can read it aloud and still like it.


message 26: by Cair-Paravel (new)

Cair-Paravel De Loulay | 39 comments It is simply...

Argh!


message 27: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Deans (adriandeans) | 285 comments Lizzie wrote: "I can write a legal brief which basically boils down to citing facts, citing law, and stringing them together with a theory and persuasive argument of why we should get what we are asking for. I can't write fiction. I just don't have that creative spark of imagination. I have never felt like I had a book in me."

Funny that. I'm also a lawyer and I find the construction of a legal argument to be remarkably similar to the creation of a plot. It's all about the careful drip-feed of information to convince your audience and keep them engaged.

As for the original question, you won't be a good writer without being a pretty constant reader. I've occasionally run across would-be writers who almost boast about their lack of interest in reading. They have no chance.


message 28: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6035 comments I'm an avid reader and a good writer, but I lack the skills to write fiction and admire those who do.


message 29: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments Adrian wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "I can write a legal brief which basically boils down to citing facts, citing law, and stringing them together with a theory and persuasive argument of why we should get what we are a..."

Adrian, I have to ask - which is the fiction? The plot or the brief?

I could probably write biographies and nonfiction, but definitely don't have the imagination to create whole cloth out of nothing in the world of fiction.


message 30: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Deans (adriandeans) | 285 comments Lizzie wrote: "Adrian, I have to ask - which is the fiction? The plot or the brief?"

Depends how much they're paying me...

Kidding!


message 31: by Lizzie (last edited Nov 28, 2020 03:37PM) (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments Adrian wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "Adrian, I have to ask - which is the fiction? The plot or the brief?"

Depends how much they're paying me...

Kidding!"


I have worked for lawyers who were ok writers and who were excellent writers. I have worked for some who helped make or change precedents at the State and USA Supreme Court level. The worst was working for lawyers who thought they could write and really couldn't, but not my place to tell them.

I have worked for lawyers who did not write well but were great in a courtroom. I never understood how they could speak so well and spin the story and the facts superbly, but they couldn't write a decent brief. It has always befuddled me.

FN1. How much they pay matters. I can only put in so many hours a day and how much of that is devoted to a single case has to be within that person's budget. A mechanic isn't going to build you a new engine so your car runs better. Unless you have the money to do otherwise, he's going to tune it up, change the oil and say you're good to go.


message 32: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Deans (adriandeans) | 285 comments Yes, but how much they pay will never have anything to do with fact or fiction...which was the point of my little joke.


message 33: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1817 comments Adrian wrote: "Yes, but how much they pay will never have anything to do with fact or fiction...which was the point of my little joke."

How much they pay, what they tell us and don't tell us - fact or fiction - I have heard plenty of both in trying to find those nuggets I could use. Admittedly, being able to tell a story in my briefs and negotiation offers is a big part of why I liked family law so much more. In the USA, it's less about law as compared to contracts or criminal acts.

As a reader and as someone with the skills to write well, that's as close as I will ever get to writing a story.


message 34: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 1 comments The disappointment with some fiction forced me to write my own - not that success has followed but I do have satisfaction with and still like my own stories. Now if I flick back through my older books I find myself reading them and wondering who wrote them....


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