I Wrote This As a Comment Response Yesterday…

So thought it would be good to clean up my comment, expand a little and put here so more people see it. It is on the topic of critical voice shutting off your enjoyment of other author’s work.  It is a matter of taste. Read the last post before reading this.

When a book kicks you from the story, it is your taste, not the author’s fault. Always the case.

What that author did is simply not to your taste, even if a craft thing.

Why does that happen with craft?

Because we writers have one way of writing something. When you type something of someone else’s into your manuscript format, we always want to change words or punctuation or word choice. That is our voice wanting to do it differently. But on minor changes, we let it go through our minds and accept and study it.

But when the author diverges too far from the way you would do it, strayed over some imaginary line we all have, we call it “bad writing” or basically “that didn’t work for me” and leave the story.

That is what is happening when you hate another author’s writing for one reason or another. Your taste has a line it will stand and past that it won’t. Nothing at all to do with quality of a story by another writer.

All taste. Your taste.

For example, last night, I was watching a Hallmark movie. Got to a point where I knew exactly what would happen next and I flat didn’t want to see it because it would be uncomfortable (to me). So I shut it off and went to do something else for about thirty minutes, then went back to it and rewound back to the spot right after the uncomfortable (to me) scene and enjoyed the rest of the movie just fine. I am very, very aware of my tastes and what ejects me from stories. Nothing at all to do with the quality of a story or the craft of the writing.

Just me.

And sure, it is the writer’s responsibility to keep the reader reading. But not all readers. That is asking for perfection and there is no such thing. Every story will hold a certain type of reader and push away a certain type of reader.

For example, I could not care about caliber of guns (or whatever that is) or make of a gun. Not a clue, don’t care, don’t worry about it in my stories at all. I write for myself, so I am certain that at times I make “mistakes” as far as some gun readers are concerned and I push them out of the book. But that is because their taste does not match mine. Or isn’t close enough.

This happens with all “experts” in certain areas. And it happens with grammar obsessed and polish obsessed and so on and so on. All of them have tastes and when a writer tells a perfectly fine story that drives over the line for the tastes of a reader, fans just put the book down and new writers claim the writer can’t write.

As a new writer, you have to understand the concept of your personal taste and learn how to read for pleasure. As I said in the last post, critical voice will kill your writing and your enjoyment of writing and reading.

Just stop being negative. And go have fun.