I Like To Write, I Don’t Like To Write

I’ve just spent a good while doing this exercise from the great, lovely and super-talented Sarah Salway (you know how much I love her work).

To paraphrase you spend ten minutes writing I like to write…, and I don’t like to write… and it’s had some interesting results.
A theme which occurred in different guises regularly was that I DIDN’T like writing what other people are writing. I like writing different.
But I have two favourites.
I like to write things that make people go: Eh? wtf?, but then, aaahhhh!!
And
I like to write believable, even if it isn’t.

Anyone else going to have a go? I’d love to know your results.

10 Comments on “I Like To Write, I Don’t Like To Write

  1.  by  Sophie Playle

    I love that last one! Ha ha!I like to write… weird things, things that confuse (in a good way), things that make you feel strange (the way your life feels strange and static and finate when someone close to you dies), I like to write beautiful phrases that make you wish you'd written them.I don't like to write cliches (I try not to!), or writing that feels empty, or writing that makes the reader go 'well, that was a waste of time'. I don't like to write about boring things, unless they are used to contrast something extraordinary. I don't like to write autobiographically.How did I do?

  2.  by  Nik Perring

    Ooh fantastic! How long did you spend doing it? Sarah suggests 10 mins (I did 5 or 6) – it's the patterns that are interesting.I had one about cliches. And about not wasting readers' time. Hang on – here it is: I don't like to write anything a reader won't want to finish.Top show, Sophie!N

  3.  by  Tania Hershman

    I love this idea… will try it and see what comes. I also like your last one, "believable, even if it isn't". Hmm, is that believable??

  4.  by  Nik Perring

    Not believable at all. But believably unbelievable in the same way as the (swoon) Aimee does it so wonderfully is what I think I mean. Or Etgar. Or Mr Czyz.Nik

  5.  by  Tania Hershman

    Ah yes, spot on! I just discovered I have the great honour of being in the same lit mag as Mr Czyz – the LA Review. Very thrilling, haven't read it yet!

  6.  by  Kelly

    I like to write….a combination of words that makes people feel they've just discovered them for the first time, or things that make the reader think 'oh yes I feel like that too but I didn't think anyone else did', things that make people want to keep reading, to get lost in the words and forget about their chores, their worries, their sadnesses. I like to write about people I would like to spend time with.I don't like to write about characters that no-one cares about, or to write something that the reader has no feelings about either way, or to write a story where anything is more important than the authenticity and hold of the main character.Interesting exercise! Thanks Nik,Kelly

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