I remember one time having a conversation with an editor, as I was trying to get a job with the publisher (... some local publishing household in Shah Alam; you all know which one).Incidentally, I still talk to the editor from time to time, he’s a nice guy and I respect him quite a bit. He wanted to know all about me and my background, to better understand what kind of writer I am. But then the conversation suddenly got weird. He wanted to know what kind of books I read, and what kind of movies I watch.

What does it matter what books I read, or what movies I watch? Did they want original ideas, or did they want me to spit back rehashed concepts? Did they think that little of my own creative abilities?

It was his belief that a writer should read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies in order to be a good writer, and in many ways, he’s right. I do believe you can tell a lot about a man by his bookshelf. My own bookshelves are stacked with books on writing, art, comics, history, religion, sociology, psychology, and of course various classic literatures. ( ... ok!ok! - the last five was my old school and course text books,dammit!!! )

Subjects such as those might explain why most of my stories are more character driven, focusing more on human emotion and fantasy, rather than action or drama. But most of my books are also text and/or reference books, so I can’t say that I’ve “read” them, as much as I simply “reference” them.

He was amazed and stunned by my lack of knowledge on local literature, and I’ll confess to being more than a little embarrassed to show my ignorance on the subject. I’m simply not too interested in that area of study, so I don’t pursue it any more than I need to.

This raised an interesting, yet disturbing, question for me: "Must a person read or watch movies to become a better writer?"

Many people would say YES ... but at times i say YES and NO.

While it’s true that we SHOULD read as much as we can, and learn from them such things as characterization, plot development, structure, etc.; when did it become so that we HAVE to partake in these mediums in order to become a better creator?


and today i got to see him again and he says of this :


' When did we suddenly have to get our best ideas from other writers? To me, if you need to read to get ideas, that says you’re not creative enough to think of something that hasn’t already been done. '

But that was the opinion of this highly-respected editor. And again I’ll stress: he was not totally wrong, because it’s a widely accepted and practiced way of generating “new” ideas. This was his own opinion, just as it is MY opinion that those things are not important to writers. Certainly an issue could be made for both sides of the argument.




i rest my case ... for now.




p/s : These are the important things that we, as writers, can be taught through reading. And while it’s perfectly normal to be inspired by another’s ideas, you should always know the difference between inspiration and plagiarism.


Ulasan

xfusion-poets berkata…
as for my case, i think i need to do both things a lot so that i can empower my words and prose... well i am not as good u all bloggers out there see... i am used to write report with lack of literacy touch and almost lack of adjectives to make words sound interesting... u see reports need facts and facts alone is enough minus the flowery words. but i wanna change that thats y i try blogging in a sense that i will learn and write better... like the sandman here... envy u dude... u make a good writer.
Tanpa Nama berkata…
p/s : These are the important things that we, as writers, can be taught through reading. And while it’s perfectly normal to be inspired by another’s ideas, you should always know the difference between inspiration and plagiarism.

HOHOHO LOOK WHO'S TALKIN :p

-EERKIZ-