Why don't I like my writing?


#1

Alright this has basically been a downfall of every attempt of mine at making a game. It’s not like I don’t like my game. I think the idea is brilliant. Infact out of the twenty times that I started a new game, nineteen were of the very same game just re-written with a slight variation of a plot.

What always makes me quit is that I never think that my writing is good enough. Now, I know that I am not the best writer. But I always feel like I have done a horrible job and that the story is not intriguing enough and is boring. Well atleast after I read it over again a few days later to check for any errors and ways to improve it.

So I don’t know if it is because my writing is actually really really lacking, or because I’ve just read it over too many times and there is no suspense and i just get bored of reading something I’ve already read twenty other times.

So i’d like to know if any of you expert writers have faced a similar problem and any opinions to keep me motivated to not restart every time I finish a chapter. Or if my writing is actually poop and i should just stick to smaller stories to improve it first.


#2

If you have not been doing this yet, I suggest that you write an outline first. Write a synopsis of the story.

Don’t just delve in the actual story. Build the world first. Think of the events. After that, sketch out the characters.

If sometimes you lose motivation with carrying on, then I suggest you find a partner. Working in teams have helped me stay focused and motivated with the story.

I also suggest to work part-by-part. Set a personal deadline for yourself. Like the first two weeks, do the first chapter.

This website has also helped me a lot with my writing and story-telling.

http://www.fantasy-writers.org/forums/writers-corner

Me and my teammate are actually going to be posting the first few chapters of our first COG game some time soon. We are just editing and finishing the details.


If you need any help with your story, regarding the writing and story-telling aspects then I can help you. I’m free to do collaboration. But I will tell you now, I’m not good with the coding aspects.

Cheers mate!


#3

A lot of writers seem to feel the same way. I know I do sometimes.

One exercise I find useful is to set aside 15 minutes a day and just write whatever comes to mind. Even if it’s terrible, makes no sense, is full of plot holes and never gets used, writing every day is good practice.


#4

Well, far be it from me to call myself an “expert,” but it sounds to me like you might be letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here. What I mean is, try not to hold yourself to some imagined standard of what your writing should be like. It’s good to have aspirations and drive for improvement, of course, but when what you’re aspiring to is so little like what you’ve actually got that you’re more inclined to give up than keep going, it’s become counterproductive.

Remember also that a story is always going to look different to the person writing it than it does to people reading it. If your writing isn’t giving you the same “feel” or sense of wonder or whatever as your favorite author or book or what-have-you… that’s normal. You’re writing it-of course the surprises aren’t going to shock you, etc. It’s like the difference between admiring a piece of architecture and building it. I bet the pyramids didn’t seem so great to the people sweating and straining all kinds of muscles to lay one stone on top of another, but that doesn’t mean the pyramids are bad architecture!

When in doubt, I’d say submit your work to a jury of your peers. The community around here seems really strong; I’m betting there’s more than a few experienced readers and writers who can tell you what about your writing specifically seems to work and what doesn’t. And then you go and figure out how to fix the things that are commonly critiqued and see how that works. Writing in my experience is a dynamic, work-intensive thing; I don’t know of anyone who just goes and magically produces something good enough to be a final product on the first try, or even in the first dozen edits, though perhaps such people do exist.

I think the tl;dr here is I hope you don’t get discouraged because you don’t think your writing is what you want it to be. Sometimes, you have to accept that your effort is less than perfect and learn from it, and other times, you get to go back and really slog through the details trying to make improvements. That’s normal, and I don’t think it’s anything to be discouraged by. :smile:


#5

I know I can’t stand my own writing as well and I’ve completely refused to read my own works because my writing feels wrong to me. So you’re not the only one with this issue. But what I do tell myself is this: I’m never going to finish anything if I keep telling myself that my writing sucks because I don’t like it and that dreams, goals and ambitions will never come to pass if I keep resetting my work all the time. So I just suck it up and sit down and write everyday. Who knows? Maybe somebody there actually likes my work. Certainly not me that’s for sure but there’s seven billion people out there. Someone’s bound to like it one way or another.

At least that’s my take on the situation.


#6

#7

Alright thanks guys, good to see I am not alone, i guess i’ll just find out how bad it is when i put out a demo.


#8

I feel the exact same way about my writing. I absolutely hate it, and thus I don’t actually write. Which is a pity, since the only way to really get better at writing is to actually write.

Some people are their own worst critics, and will spot flaws that no one else will even care about. I think the best thing to do is to just embrace the fact that you’re not going to like your writing, shrug, and write anyway. It doesn’t matter what you write, it doesn’t matter how good your writing is, all that matters is that you do write. Push on! Don’t reread, don’t even think of editing your work until you’ve got a finished draft. You can make things better once you’re done, but first you just need to get it done.

Don’t worry about the errors. Don’t worry about improving it. There’s no point improving anything until it’s finished anyway. Is it better to have the perfect first chapter, of a story you’ll never finish, or is it better to have a finished game? I’d say the latter’s better.

Also, remember that even the most famous published authors generally have a team of other people helping them get there. They have different editors and readers that will run over their work for them, helping make it better. And sometimes, it’s not even the quality of the writing that matters, it’s if a story, or characters, manages to capture people’s interest.


#9

Just write don’t worry if it’s good, bad or ugly. I honestly believe there is no such thing as bad writing only some just need a little work.

I’ve had people say my writing is good and others say it is terrible. I can’t say whether my writing is good, bad or somewhere in between. But I know that Unnatural is 1000 times better because I just wrote it and got fantastic feedback from my fellow CoGgers to refine it :slight_smile:


#10

It happens to me when I push myself too much to write. I often lose motivation and don’t feel like writing (writer’s block) and my only solution to that is to start writing anyway, and churn out whatever I can until I get in the mood again. It helps to build up my rhythm so that I can go back to writing well and not writing because I have to. But then, sometimes, when I come back to what I write in a few days, or even a few hours, I look critically on what I’ve written. Some of it is good, some is genius, but some is utter shit. If that happens, I try to rewrite without being too hard on myself. Remember, almost no writing is absolutely bad. It’s usually technical fixes (lack of coherency, rewording, breaking up long sentences or fusing short ones). If it’s deeper issues (with the narrative or plot holes), that requires more work, but again, when I’m in the zone, I find it easier to fix it up.

TL;DR don’t worry about it, happens to all of us. Come back to it when you’re in a creative place and you’ll be able to fix it.


#11

Most of the time when you read your own writing it’s going to sound strange, and that’s happened to me countless times. I realized it was because I was setting too high of expectations for myself, comparing my work to other authors. When I finally convinced myself to stop the urge of perfected writing, I grew to enjoy my simplistic style.

Some tips to practicing writing is to tell yourself that you’re going to write a short story. Nothing else. Clear your mind of ideas, thoughts, and stop trying to plan out the story in your mind and just write. You’ll be surprised how it ends. Also, when you proof read your works, I suggest giving it a few days, at least a week after you’ve written the first draft, and it might change your perspective. Good luck!


#12

I’m much the same as you. There is one difference, however, and I do suggest that you change how you think. Tell yourself that you can write.

In any case, what Kurokiku said seems to be correct. You seem to be suffering from a case of perfectionism like I do.

It has a good side and a bad side in my view. The good side? You’re much less likely to publish a poor story or rush something out the door. Of course, authors can be blinded and not see that their work is poor, but at least no-one can accuse you of not caring about a story’s quality or, if they do, then at least you know what they’re saying is bollocks.

The bad side? Being a perfectionist means you might throw away something good or may never do anything with it. It’s also not conductive to earning a living at times.

When it comes to me, I’ve said before that I’m working on my own Hosted Games title. I still am, but it’s like pulling teeth. 2,500+ words done so far, but the counter only moves a few words a day. I’m just not feeling motivated and not feeling it, I guess. What I need to do is sit my butt in the chair and just write. I was originally going to post it when I completed chapter 1 as well, but I think I’ll wait until I have 3 - 4 chapters done.

So, what I suggest you do, if you can, is plant your butt in the chair like I need to do and write. Do not think about your story’s quality until you’ve done a chapter or so. At that point, unless you want to finish the story first, you can go back and edit it. That’s what I’m going to do anyway, as I already know my tenses are very poor, partly because I’ve switched from present to past. And I know the writing itself needs to be much stronger.

Also, just remember that a story is not published until it’s published, so you can always go back and make changes. What’s important at the start is getting something down.

There is one last thing I must stress too, which is that nothing is ever perfect. So, don’t seek it. Instead, just seek a product that is as polished as you can get it. And remember there will always be someone who dislikes your work. Just put it out there and hope more people like it than dislike it.


#13

You’re not the only one, because English isn’t my first language, I always feel like that my writing is worse than everybody else.


#14

I feel the same way.
I think I’m biased against my own writing which isn’t helped by my expect and prepare for the worst mentality.
And it feels weird reading my own story as I don’t let myself get lost in it like I do with other pieces.(maybe I’m just looking for flaws too much and being overly critical)


#15

Honestly, I think the best way to overcome your issues with your writing is to post your game as a demo as this will allow you to gain valuable feedback off fellow forum members.

In my case it’s finding the motivation to actually sit down and write which I find difficult rather than worrying about my writing style. However, what I find that really helps is to thoroughly plan your game (Plot, characters, details and descriptions of major events, as well as descriptions etc) before you even contemplate writing. What I also find that helps is to not set deadlines for when you will complete a certain part of the game. I know this helps motivate some people, but for me, it just adds unnecessary pressure. when I feel inspired or motivated to write, I can sit down at a laptop and right for hours on end.

What is essential to remember is that writing is an art. Many people will have different interpretations of what you produce. Just enjoy it. Try not to copy other authors writing; every writer has a different style. :slight_smile:


#16

See I disagree strongly here. I think once you post a demo, you’ll be tempted to go back and make all the changes that other people suggest. It’s better to push on, to write as much as you possibly can, to have a good chunk of game written first. Then ask for feedback.

I’ve seen feedback torpedo games as well, and I hate when that happens, when it discourages people instead of encourages them.

I, personally, like deadlines. I weirdly work far better under pressure, when I have to write something as opposed to when I can just write it whenever. They also mean I’m less tempted to look back over what I’ve written since I don’t have time for that.

I really miss the days when I could sit down and spend hours writing and just get lost in that space though.


#17

I personally agree with you in that writing a big chunk of the game first before posting a demo is what should be done. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. However, if you want instant feedback on your writing, then posting a demo can be extremely beneficial as a great deal can be learnt from other people.


#18

I had a book published a few years ago. It’s not a great book; it probably could have been, in other hands, or possibly even in mine if I’d taken more time with it (and not written 18% of the text in the ten days before the deadline). For many parts of it, when I finished them I hated them.

But in retrospect, I think it’s a good book. Good enough, anyway. I enjoy reading more of it than I dislike. Getting to that perspective involved quelling the voice of my inner perfectionist, but I’m glad to have done it.

I suggest you slap a gag on your own inner perfectionist, and provisionally accept your writing as good enough, in the faith that it will seem so once the whole thing is done. And then press on past that 20x overwritten chapter. Write at least 70% of the story before you let yourself go back to the first chapter again – give the story time to unfold before you “fix” anything. Maybe it’ll fix itself once you’ve seen what all the characters are doing at the halfway point…


#19

“Not the best, but good enough.”

The only way to get better at writing is to write.
It don’t matter how ya write, just write.

Having writing that lacks is infinitely better than having a lack of writing.


#20

Same here, I often feel my writing or games are awful. But just keep going. cuz even if it was bad you can always go back and change things latter so you can keep that in mind to not worry about it and keep going!