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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that is an an interesting question.  Why would an author even want to read his or her own novels?  After all you know what is going to happen, don't you?

I find that I actually do like to read my own novels.  It is sort of like seeing old friends again after a long time.  I even get a chuckle out of something that happened or something that is said.  Of course, I am in love with most of my women characters and like the men characters since they almost seem like real people to me.

Also I find myself forgetting that I actually created these characters and story to begin with.  Or did I really create them?  I haven't ever figured out where stories come from. They just seem to appear in my mind and the only thing I do is use my fingers to do the typing.

So do you like to read your own novels?

 

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Franklin Eddy said:
Now that is an an interesting question. Why would an author even want to read his or her own novels? After all you know what is going to happen, don't you?

I find that I actually do like to read my own novels. It is sort of like seeing old friends again after a long time. I even get a chuckle out of something that happened or something that is said. Of course, I am in love with most of my women characters and like the men characters since they almost seem like real people to me.

Also I find myself forgetting that I actually created these characters and story to begin with. Or did I really create them? I haven't ever figured out where stories come from. They just seem to appear in my mind and the only thing I do is use my fingers to do the typing.

So do you like to read your own novels?
Me too. Just the other week, I was looking for something to take to the park to read, and I was muttering "Where's the one about that band?" and groaned when I realised it was mine, as I don't have a paperback version and REALLY wanted to read it! :p
 

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Not me.  Even doing rewrites for me, after I finish the first draft, is agony.  For me, the stories often spend a long time, even years, bubbling around in my head.  Then it takes me weeks or months to write the novel and then I have to re-read it and do rewrites.  By the time I have published the book, I am often so sick of my own work that I almost disown them.  I rarely go back to reread things I have written.  All I see are the flaws and how I have matured as a writer and how I would write it all differently.
 

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I would love to read one, because that would mean I was finished.

As of right now, if I go back and read something I read a couple years ago, there are parts I like and there are parts I'd cut.
 

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No!!! I know that sounds terrible, but I read it so many times during rewrites that it starts to feel like torture.
 

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I'm not afraid to admit that for me writing novels is an entirely selfish endeavor. Long before the internet, POD, or ebooks, I spent my days at the typewriter churning out novels so that I could sit down and read them. Self-publishing wasn't even a term I was familiar with. It was all about writing the kinds of stories that I enjoyed that only I could tell. I can honestly say that I'm not an author because I'm driven by ambitions of winning writing awards or gaining the adulation of the masses. It's the pleasure of knowing when my book is done, I can pull it off of the bookshelf and curl up with a good read that uniquely comes from my imagination. If I didn't read my own books, I couldn't see the point of being in this business at all. The fact that other people enjoy my books as well is just the icing on the cake. ;)

 

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I love to read something after it's been put away for a while and think "Gosh, I wrote that!"  :)
 

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I'm with Javier on this one. Every time I read my own work, I always seem to find something I'd like to change. Besides, if I really want to relive my stories, I can just play them as movies in my head. :p
 

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I've been re-editing books I wrote years ago for new e-book editions, and I find the experience twofold.

Some of them cold enough that I don't remember every detail, so it's kind of fun to find out what I did plot and characterwise back when.

It's tough sometimes to look at my prose from younger days. I find extra words and phrases that take a sentence further than it needs to go sometimes, though happily that's what revision is for.
 

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It takes time and distance before I can pick up my own books and read with anything resembling enjoyment. By the time I finish it, after all the rewrites and changes and hair pulling, I typically hate what I've written. After some time I can read it again and at the very least feel like I did a pretty good job with it. A few years, and I actually like it.

No matter what, I always find things I wish I had done just a but differently. And two books, I would like to rewrite completely...
 

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No. I enjoy the stories, but after my many rounds of revisions are done, I never want to look at my books again. And as others mentioned, if I read them I always find things I wish I could go back and change.
 

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DebBennett said:
I love to read something after it's been put away for a while and think "Gosh, I wrote that!" :)
Me too! That's the best feeling. I hate it though when I pick something up and say, aw, man, that could have been written so much better. But my more recent stuff -- yeah, it's a great feeling to not quite remember what's coming next, and then get that rush of satisfaction. Yeah! : )

Ashley
 

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Yes.  Sometimes I need to go back into the old manuscript to check some obscure fact and might accidentally read two full chapters before I get back to what I'm supposed to be doing, despite having edited the full novel at least six times.  I wrote it to entertain, and I'm still entertained.  I'm actually surprised that so many of you can't stand reading your own writing.  Wow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am sort of surprised at the number of people that said they didn't want to read their own books.  I noticed a few people said they did like to do it though.

I would have guessed that they would have said that they enjoyed reading their own books since it was fun writing them.
 

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Eww, no. It’s especially difficult for me on the humor level---i.e. by the time it’s been through all the re-writes, all the “supposed” best lines no longer amuse me. It’s simply awkward and uncomfortable to read it at that point. It’s basically the same as an equally plausible future scenario that hasn’t happened to me yet, like when I star in a movie with Ryan Gosling, and have to awkwardly watch all our passionate love scenes on the big screen.  It’s exactly like that.
 

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I like to add humor to a lot of my books (fiction) so I get a kick out reading my books after some time has passed.  
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
I am sort of surprised at the number of people that said they didn't want to read their own books. I noticed a few people said they did like to do it though.

I would have guessed that they would have said that they enjoyed reading their own books since it was fun writing them.
Nah, I found it very stressful writing Swallow...cathartic, maybe. I felt very drained writing it and had to step away from it many times. I enjoy reading it 'cause it's a good story and makes me laugh. Now it's finished and I haven't worked on it in ages, I can step away from it as composer and enjoy it as audience. :)
 
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