How do you judge your writing?

To me, writing is all about entertaining the reader. It’s about providing the reader with a story that will captivate their emotions, and always leave them wanting to know more.

I know when an author has done a great job when I finish reading a series and I’m almost sad there aren’t any more books to read. The story has finished, and it has left me not wanting to let go.

When it comes to my own writing, I think I critique myself too harshly sometimes. However, I don’t suppose that it a bad thing, to a point.

When I write, I always feel that I never put in enough detail. I always feel like the reader is going to be confused and not know what is going on. Or, I feel that I haven’t described a character well enough. I feel like the reader isn’t provided with enough information to fully visualize what the character looks like. Sometimes I find it hard to move outside of the basic characteristics such as hair color, eye color, and height. I want the reader to know as much as they can about the character.

Other times, I feel that I don’t describe the setting well enough, or what a character is feeling. Obviously, setting and character feelings are a crucial part to any story, and must be adequately describe to the reader so they have a full understanding of what the character is going through so they can relate with the character and essentially form a bond or connection with them. If that can be accomplished than it will be much easier for the reader to, in a sense, feel what the character is feeling, and will get them into the story much more.

Hopefully, I will be able to master the crafts of description and be able to provide a story that captivates the reader, and allows them to read the story with all of their senses so they can fully enjoy each word.

Which leaves me with my question to you, the reader: How do you judge your writing?


4 thoughts on “How do you judge your writing?

  1. Oh yes, I can identify with this. Self-critical, self-loathing, thats me ALL the time!

    To be more specific though, since I’m writing a collection of ghost/supernatural stories, I do always wonder if they would be scary enough. I also have the exact problem as you with regards to description. Sometimes I feel I’m being too vague and wish I could weave a more poetic desciption filled with nature-like metaphors and emotional depth.
    I’m sure one day we’ll both get there Chris…. 🙂

  2. Writers are a self-loathing lot. We think we suck, even right after we write pages that we know nailed it. And the self-doubts don’t magically disappear once you get published, so I hear.

    We just have to write through the self-loathing–just get it on the page, which you’re already doing..

    I joined a critique group years ago as well as a national writers organization called RWA. Those two things changed my writing for the good. Before then I was writing in a void and didn’t know how to fix stuff. I went to conferences when I could afford it and attended seminars, and all that taught me more than any writing class I ever took.

  3. I’m the same with details – my first drafts often have little or no setting. The revision I’m working on, reading through the first draft, I found two separate scenes that I couldn’t tell from the text, where they took place. 😛

    As far as judging my writing, I’ve gotten to be a decent judge of my own writing. As in, when I’m excited about something I’ve written and revised, then I send it out to my Beta readers, the feedback is about what I expect. And I’m going by the readers who have been honest in the past, back when I writing sucked.

    A couple years ago, I started really looking at my work objectively, and made some breakthroughs, and the tone of the feedback I received on the subsequent work improved dramatically – where I was once getting very general feedback, I started getting much more specific feedback. Judging from my own critiquing of others, I got to realize that what that means is, at the beginning, there was so much wrong it’s hard to pick something to give feedback on without overwhelming the author, so people go general. Then when an author has got the big stuff down, other things start to stand out, glaring, and the feedback zeroes in. And now, just in the last year and a bit, the feedback has changed again, finally to “yeah, with a little touching up, this would be publishable.” And the last chapter I posted for critique, multiple people complimented the mood and setting of the scene. Since when do I have good setting and mood! I think it’s time to post a teaser on my own site.

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