Writing what you wouldn't read

Moonpearl

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A long time ago I received the advice not to write something that I wouldn't enjoy reading.

I'm not sure if that advice was supposed to only apply in certain situations, or if I entirely misunderstood, but I've never once managed to follow this advice.
You see, I enjoy playing about with aliens and soft sci-fi settings even though sci-fi is my least favourite genre. I won't read gender bender but I'll write it. I'm even about to write a borderline student x teacher relationship, and those things give me the shivers ever since I stopped being a teenager myself.
I enjoy writing these things and wouldn't want to stop. I write them in a way that's enjoyable to me, although I might still not pick them as a reader. Am I really doing it wrong?

One of my favourite authors is also fantastic at writing genres he never reads.

Do you only write the things you enjoy reading? Do you think it's valid advice? What things have you written that you'd never choose as a reader?
 

Owl

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I think you're doing it exactly right because: Aren't you having fun writing those stories? Aren't you having fun planning them?
That advice isn't about genres in general, it's about the story. Write the story in a way that you'd like to read it and that you'd like to write. The point is having fun with your writing.
I dislike a number of genres for certain cliches, so if I wrote about them, then I'd turn the cliches into something I'd prefer - so although I dislike the genre, I could write about it, since I would get rid off what I disliked about it.
That's why I'd say it's great advice, just that I'd interpret it slightly different from you :D
 

Rinne

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My own story is something I am writing because I want to read it, in a way. It sounds a bit weird, yes, but that's the gist of it.

Not usually reading a genre doesn't exactly disqualify from writing about it. You just write about it in a way that's enjoyable for you yourself.
That means you would like to read your own story, right? So in a way, I'd say you are following the advice just fine.

A single genre is vast and there are many stories in it. There are clichés, there are common points between them. Just because you usually don't read a certain genre wouldn't mean you wouldn't enjoy any stories in that genre, right?
As long as you can go back and read your own story while having fun, that's good.
 

Pistachio

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As stated by Owl, yep, my friend, you're doing it right. I've heard and lived by that advice myself: write what you would love to read; not necessarily the genre you're prone to reading. Writing is a personal endeavor and this is why it is fun because you take what you personally like and dislike into your story. For you, this is the formula that keeps your interest high, therefore, even though you don't read a particular genre, the process of writing is still enjoyable to you.

For me, this advice has made wonders in my writing. It gets me through numerous slumps and made me finish a novel, the latter a wholesome high in itself. Not to mention, my readers 'advices' don't easily sway me because I know how the story will go and how I want it to go. As long as it makes me happy then, I won't be disappointed with it. That's what I keep in mind first and foremost.

What things have you written that you'd never choose as a reader?
Reading and writing don't always come hand in hand. It is a realization I've come to grips recently. You see, I am a hopeless romantic and I love happy endings, reading characters' suffering is a no-no, and I do not like tragedies. I hate it with my very being but what I've thought of so far, my unpublished works, are full of angst. As a reader who doesn't like reading about their favorite character losing their significant other, my works are the exact opposite. I've imagined countless scenarios wherein star-crossed lovers is the norm, misunderstandings a given, martyrdom of the heart on full throttle, and the sweet anguish of "not realizing what you have until it's gone".

My justification for that is tragedy written by others is oftentimes too intense or too shallow, what is 'just right' is far too few. Thus, this another advice is what I also lived by: "write the story you wish to read" -> if you can't find what you want to read, write it.
 

Wintertime

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I think it's a saying about versatility more than anything. You should be able to get out of your comfort zone, whatever that means...
 

Kotohood

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The way I see it. If you enjoy what you are writting chances are people will like it as well.

If you hate wrtting something, why would someone else like what you clearly hate?
 
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Don't you read the stories that you write? It's part of the editing process and for many part of the writing process as well. By that metric, you're already reading what you write.

That said, I can really feel what Pistachio is saying. I deal with enough stress as it is with work, and often if a story puts me down or looks like it's about to put me down, I often find it difficult to continue reading even if it's a story I really like. Eventually I'd get back to it most of the time, but not always, and sometimes not for months.

But despite that, I can't help but write as if the "break the cutie" trope is my gold standard. I love to write it so much, it takes a lot of effort to avoid including it. I know my readers suffer because of it, yet I keep putting it into my story, and it's in most of the unpublished stories I've written in some form.

I suppose writing's basically an outlet for me. Not just a creative one as well.

In the end though, reading and writing are different, but at the same time, they're inextricably intertwined.
 

bananapink

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OH, My GAAAWD I CANNOT!

[[A tragedy thick with betrayals and pointless killings added with a freezer MC... seriously, those irritate the hell out of me. I read to learn, to dive into a world I haven't been, to feel but rousing too many negative emotions from reading leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially if it was poorly written, makes me feel like I've eaten sh*t.]]

If I were to write something like this... arrrrrr I'd rather hit my head on a pole.

But hey, it's also good to challenge oneself once in a while. You just have to find the resolve for it. I tried writing YAOI which I never thought I would do... huhuhu but then I found myself finishing two. Perhaps because I was too curious to know and understand why so many love this genre.

On the first place, why do you write? Why do you read?

(I don't make sense, don't I? Ah, crap just ignore this ahahaha!!!)
 

gaylolis

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I think I can read the kind of things I hate, if I'm the one writing it. But I'd prolly write it like parody or satire.

Even if it's the thing I supposedly hate, I always try to make it as fun or something meaningful to me, otherwise I don't see the point.
 

Moonpearl

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I read it in a writing advice guide when I was younger. Thinking back on it now, I think he was referring to really long monologues and indulgent scenes that are fun to write but make the readers hate you.

Still, it's curious that so many people use tropes they don't enjoy as a reader.

The way I see it. If you enjoy what you are writting chances are people will like it as well.

If you hate wrtting something, why would someone else like what you clearly hate?
I actually get a lot of praise for the things I hate writing (gritty contemporary realism). It's very confusing.
 
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