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Message Board Topic For 7/9


Comsie

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There is definitely some truth in the idea that an author has to have a certain level of faith in their writing ability in order to really put their heart and soul into their work. It may not be something that an author has to constantly 'think' about, but writing without confidence can be a long and labored experience for anyone.

 

Can you 'feel' whether or not an author has that confidence when you're reading his or her work? Can you immediately tell when an author is afraid to take chances, or if he's holding back because of a lack of faith in his abilities? Can you tell if a writer is OVER confident? Do they seem cocky, or snobbish, in their delivery? Whether they're hiding from their audience or showing off in front of them...does this translate somehow to the people reading? If so, does it turn you off on a story? Or does it matter?

 

Whatever your thoughts are, let us know!

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I'd say that it's tough to tell a writers confidence in a good story. A good story should read easy and be interesting and just draw you into it like you were really there. A reader shouldn't really be thinking about whether or not an author has the confidence behind what he wrote, hell, a reader shouldn't really be thinking about the author at all while reading; a reader should just be thinking about the story line. A story that seems snobbish to me would simply be a bad story. Writers who try to use words above their, or their readers, level are among those bad stories to me. Big words don't equal good sophisticated stories. Anyone can use a thesaurus and come up with overly complicated words, but a good writer won't have to, the plot and the story line will be enough to hold the story together.

 

That said, I'd like to answer this question: Do you think any writer is ever totally confident in what he/she writes?

 

No. As a writer I am always worried about things I put out there for people to read. I think anyone would be. As a certain author's recent post would tell us is true (Com!). Even the great ones need reassurance. I read a lot of Stephen King and I when I started getting really in to writing I got his book, "On Writing." It's pretty good if you're looking for some pointers on how to get ideas on paper from one of the master's. My point being, even Stephen King has a select group of people that he prints out copies of his books for before they're sold to the masses so that he can get ideas of what is needed or if the story reads well or if he missed some big part of the story or if it's just total crap. He says so in his book, maybe not in those words. Not really sure if King can write crap, but he is worried about it after each and every one of his releases. He didn't start out as a #1 Best Seller.

 

So, to wrap it up, confidence shouldn't really be an issue. If an author is too confident in his abilities, the story will probably be crap. If an author seems unconfident, and you can tell from the words in the story, well, keep working, you'll get better eventually. A good author should not seem confident or unconfident, it just shouldn't come in to play at all. Is that a good enough answer, or did I go around the question?

 

Oh, and Com, it's cool to see that you can finally sign on to this yourself. Later, Me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think confidence plays a very large part in an author's ability to write. Natural talent will only take a person so far no matter what they are trying to do. There are some awesome stories out there that are muddled because the author is thinking to much on how the reader will respond to their work. Of course if your writing you should be thinking about the reader, but not to the point the wording becomes bombastic or underdeveloped. You have to have faith that your plot is a good one and that readers will respond to it. When you doubt that faith, that's when writing gets lost in translation. Either because your trying to hard, or not enough.

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