Saturday, October 16, 2010



Compare... do you ever compare a good book to your own, and it makes you feel hopeless, like everything you have done pales in comparison, like you should try and make it grander, bigger, better just to make your book fit in.

I try and not do this, but like most authors I find it nearly impossible.

Every time a character sticks with me after reading a particular book, I find myself wishing readers of my book will look at my chars this way.

Learning to be ME is becoming the biggest obstacle of all during the process of becoming a writer.

Trying to write with my own voice while growing from others authors who inspire me-and yet not letting those voices control mine is a strange place to be.

What do you think?

Thx for any comment you might


  1. I don't know. As far back as I can remember, I've always had a particular and distinctive style, a voice of my own. It's grown, become more polished (I like to think) over time, but it isn't like anyone I know.

    I do read authors who do a particular thing or character aspect particularly well and realize, as I'm reading, that I'll never do that particular thing as well. It can be disheartening. I also do learn things, aspects, attitudes, character interactions, that inspire me and influence how I do my work.

    But when I'm done writing, it's still mine, distinctly different from whatever gave me my inspiration because now it's been twisted into the way I think. And that, in my opinion, is unique.

  2. Jeff, my inner critical voice must be traveling over to you when it's not telling me I'm not good enough.

    Either that, or you have one of your own...

    That critical voice CAN be helpful. it CAN improve your writing. But it can also be debilitating. When you're reading another author's work, and you love something about the work, ask yourself WHY you like that other something. What is it that draws you in? Then look at your own writing. Chances are, that sort of something is already lurking in the pages, only you didn't notice. We tend to write what we love, even when we don't notice that we do.

    That said, it doesn't matter if you ever become the perfect writer. No one will. But with every word you write, every chapter you edit, you become better. And that in itself is enough.

    Keep writing, keep growing, and keep sharing! I cannot tell you how much I look forward to your posts.

  3. I'm no one to be giving advice about writing. I know I like what you write when you post it or links.

  4. Shakespeare said it quite well.

    Also, with practice, your writing will improve. With reading and analyzing what you love to read, your craft will improve. They go hand in hand. Be patient with yourself.

    Have a wonderful week. :)

  5. Jeff--I don't think you should compare your work to someone else's work. If you and another author were given the same topic to write on and a cast of characters you would end up with two very different stories...What makes your story (and his) different or special is your (or his) voice. Sometimes I let myself get down because my critique group has some really talented fantasy writers in it and I don't write fantasy, so I feel like my writing is not as strong as theirs...but then I remember that I write in a different genre than they do and for a different age group...and with a different voice and that's okay.

    Be true to yourself and write what you love and that love will shine through for your readers. :)

  6. Absolutely! It's so hard not to read a book and feel deflated when you realize that they've done it better than you. Or that there's an element in their book that is similar to yours.

    Comparing will always exist. It's what you do with the information you gather. For example, if I read a book I deem better than mine, what do I do? I work harder to make mine better. To write better. To be a storyteller. To create compelling characters.

    That's all you can do. Good luck!

  7. I definitely know what you mean and sadly being in school this is something that I encounter every time I write no matter what I write. It's pretty a tough battle to fight, and definitely an awkward place to be.