I Could Write That Better

A while ago, on Chatabout, somebody asked that if you’ve ever read a book you didn’t like and thought you could write it better.

At first, I was going to respond. In the end, I decided not to. I didn’t think the person who asked the question nor those who responded would appreciate my opinion. The person who asked the question, as well as all who responded, said yes, that there were books they could definitely write better than the respective authors.

I believe the person who asked the question was a writer. I decided not to respond because it became a bashing of those they thought were inferior writers.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I like every single book I read because I don’t. Everyone has books that they didn’t like for whatever reason. I have definitely had my share of books I didn’t like, whether because of not feeling a connection to the main character, the story or something else.

But these books, the ones I didn’t like, I can’t say that I ever thought I could write them better. No matter how much I do not like a book, I still have respect for the author and their writing.

Someone who writes puts their all into it. They put their whole being into it. And even if it is a book I don’t like, I know the author poured all their soul into the book just as any author I like did with their books.

So, no. I do not think any book I don’t like I could write it better than its author. I may not have liked it, but someone else out there does. Someone else out there found a connection to the main character or something they relate to within the pages. And I think that’s great.

Have you ever read something and thought you could write it better?

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13 responses to “I Could Write That Better

  1. There is what a couple of teachers in my past that called a book a great American novel. The book was horrible. No flow to the writing and characters were not life like at all. Lots of classmates loved the book but me an avid reader disliked the book. If it was not required I would not have finished it. I think it’s all about personal taste. That book might be the best book ever for others it just does not touch you.

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  2. yes there have been a few self help books for people with depression that I thought I could have written better. They were a one size fits all approach to people with depression and the same thing works for everyone.

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  3. I agree with you 100% on this! Especially related to novels, fiction. An author puts their heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into their story/book…and there is an audience for their story (even if I might not be a part of that audience)…so I’ve never even considered that I could have written any book better. Often one of their characters are based on themselves or very like themselves, so that is cool and very personal. πŸ™‚
    And every writer grows in their writing…so their 15th book is probably quite improved over their 1st book.
    Excellent post!
    I would agree with Ruth on “self-help” books, though. She makes a good point!
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

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    • And that’s how I feel. Every story has someone who likes it. And if I am not in the audience who likes it, that’s okay. Someone out there does and that’s great!

      I can’t really say anything about self-help books. I don’t think I have ever read any.

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  4. There are plenty of books I’ve read that I think could have been better if the respective authors changed some of their habits…but I don’t necessarily think *I* could write them better.

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  5. there have been times I read a book I did not enjoy so much – usually, if I don’t enjoy a book very much, I do not finish it. I can’t remember thinking that I could write something better than the author – usually it’s a matter of writing style or vision, and not talent. there are some poets I don’t think are the best of poets, and I have caught myself with the arrogant thought that I might be a better writer, but I stop and correct myself. the art of others is not for me to measure against my own, or mine against theirs. each stands apart. apples and oranges.

    you have humility – πŸ™‚

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    • I’ve also read books I didn’t really enjoy and just like with you, it’s not about talent. I either don’t enjoy the style of writing or I don’t connect with the story or main character.

      And I hope you don’t judge yourself harshly when you have those thoughts. We all have thoughts like that once in a while about different things. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person. We’re just human and not perfect. Plus, the ego can play a part in such thoughts. The best thing you can do when you think such things, or even have negative thoughts come through, is just acknowledge it, accept it and just let it go.

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  6. I’ve gained a new respect for writers at the beginning of the journey- of their fearlessness, of their ability to plunge ahead and not look back. They will grow into better writers over time. My job is to help them improve- if they want the help and to remember that we all begin at the beginning. I might be a better writer than some, but I have so much to still learn about the craft and skill of writing that it humbles me. Sometimes I get a twinge of writer’s envy when I encounter a tale I wish I’d created! I much prefer that feeling! Critiquing a work after it’s published seems like a fruitless exercise to me though.

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