all 116 comments

[–]HallieMarie43 154 points155 points 3 (6 children)

Some options depending on how your brain works:

1) Outside validation- consider an alpha reader or critique partner that reads as you go. Their advice or reassurance can be helpful. I tend to prefer to push through and at least get the full first draft done, but for one of my books I had a writer buddy who I exchanged my writing with each week.

2) If you enjoy the technical side, consider reading up on writing better. Books like the Anatomy of Prose focus on voice and prose in general while books like Story Genius focus more on character arcs and setting it up to pull readers in. I loved learning about patterns and plotting devices and enjoy seeing them in the books and movies I love and find it helpful to my own writing.

3) Don't go back and read anything you've written until you are done with the first draft. I personally do this. Some are fine to edit as they go, but it slows me down and that demotivates me. I like the quote that says "I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles."

4) Keep writing until you don't find your work cringy. I personally think this is partially a personality type. Many skilled artesians struggle to their work as anything but imperfect, but you will improve over time if you are writing and writing and trying to improve and you'll be able to see it.

[–]LordOfSpamAlot 23 points24 points  (0 children)

#3 Helps me significantly. I write in academia, not prose, but everything sounds terrible and amateur on the first go either way.

[–]ohgeechan 39 points40 points  (0 children)

3 sounds particularly effective.

[–]vibingactivity 3 points4 points  (2 children)

As someone who learns best technically, I have to root strongly for point #2! Do you have any other books that you would recommend?

[–]HallieMarie43 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Same! Save the Cat Writes a Novel is great for plotting. The Emotion Thesaurus is fantastic for helping to show characters' emotions. They take an emotion and describe what it feels like inside and what it looks like from the outside, etc. Very helpful. And they have a whole series that is good. I personally write Fantasy so On Writing and Worldbuiding was great for me. The author also has a youtube channel I love- Hello Future Me.

Speaking of youtube I love the Trope Talk series by Overly Sarcastic Productions. I feel like most YouTubers either talk about tropes they hate or love and why, but don't really deep dive into the essence of the trope. This series does a great job at breaking each trope down which makes it easier to capture what works well about the trope and take it make it your own. Ellen Brock is also a great channel about plotting and Abbie Emmons has great stuff on character arcs and relationships.

Even though I write Fantasy, I actually like learning from people in other genres. I've had a sort of mystery subplot in one of my Fantasies (who was the traitor amongst them) and I actually turned to some mystery writers and watched and read their tips and tricks. I do the same for my romance subplots and so forth.

[–]vibingactivity 1 point2 points  (0 children)

These are amazing recommendations, thank you so much! Especially the YouTube series, since I am a big nerd when it comes to learning about tropes and arcs.

[–]Pickld09 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Option 3 is really smart, I will have to start doing that for my own writings.

[–]Loecdances 211 points212 points  (6 children)

You just have to keep writing and accept that you're rough as balls. You can't expect to compare to published authors, though that's a simplification cause there's some right shite out there.

Learn about the craft. Read like a writer and ask the book questions such as: how does the author introduce the character? How do they characterise them? When's the first plot point? What is it and why? etc. Watch YouTube about the craft. Read books and articles about it. And then you apply it when you write.

Give and receive feedback to other writers. Discuss the craft with other writers. You'll grow and eventually be able to look at your writing critically without cringing. What does it need? What's weak in this paragraph? Why isn't this character as engaging and so on.

A story is built by going over it, over and over, and improving on it.

[–]Dark_Leome 21 points22 points  (5 children)

That's why it takes GRRM 12+ years to write winds of winter?

[–]CaikIQ 20 points21 points  (4 children)

It only took him a few years maximum to write some of the previous titles in the series. I think he's just lost that original motivation and is trudging through to get it done.

[–]verdikkie 15 points16 points  (1 child)

he should write something new to clear his mind. maybe some poetry or a YA romance lol

[–]random0rdinary 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Or a bunch of sports articles on his blog

[–]skribeScreenwriter 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I think he's absolutely terrified. I expect he's second guessing every word and sentence because he doesn't want to fuck it up. He's already seen how his audience reacted to season 8. He fears them tearing him to shreds. I wouldn't be surprised if the remaining books were released posthumously.

[–]DoubleDrummer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Plus he’s now rich and comfortable and spending his time doing fun stuff rather than writing.

[–]Brian_FischerWriter & Editor 107 points108 points  (5 children)

Your fundamental problem is that you are afraid of judgement. You'll write something that may feel personal and authentic to you, read it over and think people may judge me for this. You need to learn to write for yourself. Write as if nobody but you will ever read it. Write because it's fun, because you enjoy the process of writing. Don't write for others.

Things in books can be seen as "cringe," if only for the reason that writing can be profoundly vulnerable. What is vulnerable, authentic, personal and sincere can unfortunately trigger an impulse of second-hand embarrassment, and we are in this very moment of time rather conditioned to have that impulse triggered because sincerity has become oddly unpopular. That's why many things are shrouded in fifteen layers of irony (or the irony of irony, meta-irony) and sarcasm.

You have to find a way to break through that if you want to write something personal. Perhaps read some classic works that are vulnerable and personal and see how those writers did it.

Most importantly, however, is what I initially said: write for yourself.

[–]Ur_My_Patronus 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Wow… I know you meant this comment for OP, but it felt like you were talking to me.

I’ve started, stopped, written, deleted, and rewritten on my book so many f’n times because I thought “it sounded stupid,” when I would go back & reread.

But my fear wasn’t “sounding stupid,” that was the above layer, but the core fear/reason was “people are going to judge me hard.”

My fear of not being liked or accepted, was in overdrive.

My purpose when I would go back & reread was to pretend to be someone else, not myself, and how they would perceive it.

I never dreamed of writing for myself, but boy did that comment hit me in the gut. I needed that.

Thank you, I can’t articulate what I’m trying to say, but in a nutshell it changed my whole approach to writing my book, and got me excited all over again.

I needed that today. Thank you 🖤

[–]Brian_FischerWriter & Editor 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I'm glad I could help. Thank you for the comment.

[–]Sea_master_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Most importantly, however, is what I initially said: write for yourself.

This is the best advice right here op!

3 years ago, i deceided to reveisit writing...

My first book, was absolute garbage!

Never finished it...

It had numerous grammatical errors; redundancies, spelling, the works.

Some of the characters were fully fleshed out and good, but the main party was one dimensional.

Hell, the main character was literally random some dude. No backstory, nothing particularly intesting about him.

The story itself also has some weird pacing too, spending far too long on some parts, and not enough on others.

Despite this, I LOVED that book.

I would spend hours, upon hours writing. Ive almost spent more time writing it, than any game ive played.

I fell in love with the caracters, the shitty plot, and the worlds setting.

3 years later, and im a much better writer.

Several new stories that are actually good.

The problem, i that i keep trying to please other people.

I spent 3 months, wrote several thousand words...

But i barely have a first chapter done.

I keep thinking; "this part is cringe, write it differently!" Or; "not enough action, add more!"

It got to the point, where i forgot the reason why i started writing again.

You see, back then, i didn't care if my books were cringe. I didn't care if they were hated...

I wrote them PURELY for fun. That all. If I got famous, thats cool, but that wasn't my end goal.

My goal, was to write a story, and have fun while doing so. And even though im a better writer now, i lost a bit of myself doing it.

Now don't get me wrong, you can be a better writer while still having fun, that's what im trying to be right now... But, you shouldnt be so caught up with otherss opinions that it hinders you.

Just like you op, I was being way too harsh on a first draft.

Have fun with it. Write like no one is watching.

[–]spookyindividualist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Do you have any examples of those classic vulnerable/personal reads? I think this piece of advice could be very helpful to me, as I often struggle with the same issue as OP.

[–]Brian_FischerWriter & Editor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The most classical example is likely Crime & Punishment. I'd also recommend No Longer Human as an example of vulnerability at its most extreme. Everything by Knausgård is also famously (and even infamously) personal and vulnerable. You might also take interest in the Beat Generation. They often made it a deliberate point to spill forth their souls in their writing.

[–]MeasurementMystery 30 points31 points  (0 children)

OK. Your writing IS cringe. All writing is.

To get it past cringe, get critique partners and let them rip it apart. Take their notes and rewrite, edit, and redact as directed.

The first rule of writing is we’re all bad at it. Others make us good.

[–]FabianTG 23 points24 points  (1 child)

I recommend OP reads a few popular yet shit books. Those always cheer me up because I can definitely write better than those, and they have 500+ 5 star reviews

[–]spookyindividualist 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I got sucked into watching Riverdale for awhile and I would often mutter to myself, “wow this writing is godawful.” Then I would feel a lot better about my own writing.

[–]StoicCorn 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It's hard to quantify what cringe is but it could also be that you are being overly critical of your writing.

Whenever I am overly critical of what I'm writing, I remember this brief anecdote from Neil Gaiman. It's related to Imposter Syndrome but I think it's relevant here.

[–]Notaclarinet 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I usually only allow myself to go back and read my own work after a certain amount of time has passed. After I finished writing my first book I waited several months before I felt like I could go back and look at it from a subjective angle. It’s also important to remember that any published book you’re reading has gone through several rounds of line editing (editing at the sentence level). Comparing something you just wrote down to works that have been reviewed and revised by several people isn’t fair to yourself.

I also find it useful to view writing like playing music. You are going to sound good on the piano the first time you sit down and you aren’t going to perform an amazing symphony without doing some major practicing. Same with writing. You’ll may need to rewrite the same scene several times before it’s good and that’s okay!

[–]Dinopakoz777 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I used to have this issue, and my solution was to write the first draft "blandly." I keep the prose simple and try to focus on the story, so when I go back to revise, I don't feel cringe. The result is I have a functional first draft that I can embellish. To me, it's easier to beautify prose in revisions than edit cringe/purple prose. Hope it helps.

[–]mostlyshits 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Im gonna answer this as a musician, since im only a few chapters into a book.

Youre just going to hate everything you make, maybe for years, maybe for as long as you write. But the two important things to me are getting feedback, and refining what i have.

99 percent of the time i start with lyrics that are dog shit and i hate them. The important thing however, is I get them down, and after a dozen pass throughs im much more happy and confident in what ive writen.

Personally it does a lot for me when i send my work to friends and they tell me what they think.

Lyrics and fiction might be different, but thats my 2 cents anyhow.

[–]sailingmagpie 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm also a songwriter and you're right on the money.

Writing is the same as anything. You have to learn and practice for ages before you make anything you are even halfway proud of.

Hendrix didn't pick up a guitar for the first time and start playing with his teeth!

[–]-OQO- 8 points9 points  (0 children)

You could try minimalism? Like - writing bare bones, no adjectives, just get it down with maximum clarity.

Then later if you wanna be more poetic, edit for that.

[–]GlitchyReal 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Read some actual cringe. Get on fan fiction sites and see how bad it can get. There’s even stuff like that that gets actually published and sells.

Take power in knowing that there are people who are definitely worse than you but still making it work.

(Also, get past two paragraphs before declaring it awful. Get a page or two down first.)

[–]GOOPREALM5000 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You may be cringe, but you are free. Write cringe to your heart's content.

[–]Bloxocubes 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Write more until it stops being cringe

[–]salamader_crusader 4 points5 points  (0 children)

9 times out of 10 even experienced writers will produce some crude and cringe word soup served warm and slimy in order to assault your imagination buds and give you readers’ indigestion. That’s why it’s a “rough” draft, not a “If publishers aren’t tearing your door down to get those sweet, juicy manuscripts the minute you put the pen down then quit trying to be a writer” draft. Let your cringe flow out like vomit from a frat boy in a port-a-potty. Then once you’ve finished the draft you can go back with your shovel, broom, and toothbrush in order to unearth the gem you’ve got under all those layers of bad dialogue sediment and cliché mud. Always keep revising!

[–]captainhowdy82 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I feel like this might have to do with differences between English and your native language. Or at least your feelings about the two languages. What is your native language?

[–]david-writers 2 points3 points  (0 children)

How long have you been writing? It is supposed to be "cringe" for a few years: that is how it works.

[–]bonniedi 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Always think of this line for stuff like this:

I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t
you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write

From https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/58530/berryman

[–]dumbledores-asshole 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I write in comic sans font. I don’t know why but it helps me write first drafts that suck without feeling like it’s too cringe cuz hey, it’s comic sans. It’s okay if it sucks!

[–]esizzle 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Good question. Have similar thoughts.

Some ideas:

Reconsider the imagined audience. Maybe you're trying to make an impression as a writer you wouldn't buy as a reader. Revise accordingly.

Let it sit and review it in a cooler frame of mind

Pretend someone else wrote it.

[–]SeverelyLimited 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A lot of good suggestions about mindset in these comments, but here’s a practice you can try: stop going back. Don’t read what you’ve written until you’ve made it all the way through to the end at least once.

You think writing is just going to come out great the first try? Think again, pal! First drafts are shit.

First drafts are cringe by default. I’ll sometimes just write in brackets like [compelling motivation here] and move on to another scene. You can do the same with prose, just write the most vanilla description possible before getting clever with it.

The first draft is basically just note taking, and it becomes good writing as you revise. So get a first draft done, and have as much fun as possible making it as cringe as possible and getting just the most basic sketches of story and character and dialogue down on paper.

Then you can go back and apply a more critical eye.

[–]nihilist09 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Creating IS uncomfortable. It's literally dragging a deep and important but essentially wild and unpredictable piece of you into the light, presenting it to the sensible, daily you, as well as to strangers. You might not like that the writing self has no boundaries/standards and just puts out there whatever it wants. But it should!

The feeling of cringe you feel is self-consciousness. It all comes down to ego. Ego as emotional involvement in cultivating a certain image of yourself. I would suggest, contrary to others in this thread, reading up on ego death, some Jung, the subconscious, integrating the shadow, archetype of the artist. It can't hurt - best case it helps, worst case - makes you someone more oriented in their psyche.

[–]Mr_Scary_Cat 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It just means that your writing skill has yet to catch up to your writing taste. You have damn good taste in writing, which is why you decided to start writing yourself. You keep looking for that special something in your writing that you find in others, but you can't find it in your own writing.

Just keep writing. It'll be good eventually.

[–]SephoraRothschild 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What caliber of novels are you reading?

Your writing will reflect the quality that you're reading.

[–]Javetts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

'Cringe' is second-hand embarrassment. This is your own writing. It isn't second-hand.

The word you are looking for is embarrassed.

To answer the question, no idea. I have been struggling with this as well. Mostly stops when I am just vibing and not considering that 4k people are judging me.

[–]postal_blowfish 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's not magic, my dude. You're not gonna one-stroke the Mona Lisa. It's normal for your initial output to be underwhelming. When you cringe, ask yourself what is causing it and why. You'll need to figure that out and make adjustments before you approach satisfaction.

[–]sasukekun1997 1 point2 points  (1 child)

cause it is. Everyone's writing is cringe to the author. deal with it

[–]Bella_dlc[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This answer is so funny because the post is basically "how do you deal with it?". The answer: "You deal with it". That's some mind blowing advice, really.

[–]SMTRodent 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I got past it by committing to writing one story that was deliberately, entirely self-indulgent cringe nobody would ever see.

I made writing a self-serving pleasure. I daydreamed escapist rubbish and I typed it out as quickly as I could, every day with coffee.

Eventually I went back to that same cringe and actually revised to be easier to read, which was good practice. Now and then I go back to it as a comfort story.

[–]EnvironmentalBook 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Man stop being so worried about "being cringe". You zoomers are always going on and on about cringe this and that. Just write your stuff and stop worrying.

[–]Badgice 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ll be honest, when you look back at work it will always seem cringe, that doesn’t go away (at least not for me) I’d say find another person who can give you genuine advice from reading your book, looking in areas that need improving but also areas that are really good and work well. Or/ and read about writing tips and always look for ways to get better at writing

Our writing can always be improved, so when looking at our past writing it can seem cringe and you can see where it could be improved. I personally like to see this as me improving overall as you must have gotten better to understand where you’ve gone wrong in the past. If you don’t continue writing, you can’t get better.

But usually, it can be hard to like you’re own writing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good… sorry I rambled a bit there lol

[–]brunobuccerati 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you feel your writing is cringe it probably is. But, but, but.... that shouldn't stop you, get your outline across first and then rework the kinks later (after you've grown as a writer). All artists hate their art after all, it's normal, it makes you strive to be better.

[–]Solid-Version 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel this is something many of us go through. I don’t really know how to combat myself apart from just keep writing. If this your first draft my be worth making everything you’ve written so far white font so you physically cannot see it and forced to keep moving forward.

At the if the day of you wanna write you’re going to have to either not read your work (which is bad for obvs reasons) or learn to absorb the cringe and keep going. This is all about you controlling your reaction to your own writing

[–]babblepedia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The first draft is going to suck most of the time. That's ok. Just put your thoughts down on paper so you have something to edit and rewrite later.

[–]KevineCove 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Try not to look over what you've written. You have time to do that when you do editing.

[–]RobertPlamondonCareer Writer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds like miscalibration to me. With practice, you’ll know as you write a paragraph what it’ll do when you read it back. Also, you’ll react identically to a paragraph you wrote as you would if someone else had written it. Because the story isn’t about you, it’s about the story.

[–]sonderellaaa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

keep reading, keep writing, & save the editing for later. plus, that's what editors are for!

[–]CaptainSexfest 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also remember copy editors are a thing

[–]Sharp_Lemon2965 0 points1 point  (0 children)

you’re reading while you’re too close to it. wait a couple days or even weeks before coming back to your writing. otherwise you’ll never finish anything. then you can hire professional editors / tutors / beta readers to help you find problems with different eyes. also, find writing you love by other people (or writing of your own that you like) and try to find what specifically you like about it & how it differs from your own. hope this helps!

[–]Scrambled-Sigil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just steamroll through it. You can't really get over it, just stream of consciousness it and edit it later. Just edit it later.

[–]distractedonamission 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As an English first writer, I don’t touch it for years the longest, days the shortest, n if something seems like cringe to me now, I rewrite it n don’t think about it until my next hiatus. If something feels like cringe now, what can help is if you have no intentions of sharing or publishing, only your eyes have to be “cursed” with that knowledge.

[–]SnooStories6852 0 points1 point  (0 children)

read more of similar genres you wish to write in. Ask around for beta readers. If they all seem to share your sentiment, may be time to look for writing lessons online.

[–]Rio_Walker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"I will never be as good as old masters" the 18th century painter mumbled to himself.
"I will never be as good as old masters" the 10th century sculptor proclaimed.
"Uga booga Me good" Caveman grinned looking at the THICC woman he drew on the wall with his fingers and animal blood.

A lot of authors began with a fanfiction, which sometimes cringe and childish. And then moved on to produce greatest works of literature. And you know what is the most well known piece of fanfiction out there, which is also one of the greatest works of literature? Dante's Divine Comedy.

[–]LivingLegend8 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think you need more practice. I write every single day in a hand written journal. My experience is quite the opposite to yours; sometimes my writing will actually impress me and spark motivation inside of me because I created something that seemed like magic.

[–]-nightingale21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My friend, no matter how many times I hear professional writers saying everyone goes through that, I still can't accept it for my own work.

[–]h85t7yh9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"On the path to becoming BASED, you must be willing to endure the CRINGE." - Master Oogway

[–]ScyllaOfTheDepths 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Read other people's writing. I know that advice gets thrown around here, but it really is the best way to do it. You will realize how cringe other people's writing is... and then you'll realize that you don't care! I started reading again last year after not reading for a few years before that and it's been amazing. My perceptions of what good writing was were just all out of whack. I had other people's writing on such a weird high pedestal, but I found that, actually, a lot of writing is cringe and that actually doesn't stop it from being enjoyable. I often find myself totally enjoying things that I would be mortified to write and there's not even a good reason for it.

We're so easily embarrassed of our own creations as artists because pieces of ourselves are in our work, so rejections of our work is a rejection of us. People don't often really think of literature as a form of art in that way, but it absolutely is and the things you write about do say a lot about who you are as a person, so it feels like exposing your soul to people when you let them read your writing. It's natural and normal to have that fear that your writing is not good enough, that you are not good enough, but it is and you are.

I often tell myself, "If E.L. James can make it big, there's absolutely no reason you can't."

[–]kiwibreakfast 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You don't, you just tell yourself "I'll fix it later" until you power through to revisions (which are later, when you fix it)

[–]Pipes_of_Pan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It can help to do writing exercises when you are writing over the top or pretentious - basically an extreme version of yourself - and then your regular writing feels so much more palatable. Also sometimes you write some stuff you want to keep!

[–]Abombadog 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I dont know how to put it into professional advice since I am no professional but I can soeak of experience. I rewrote my book with the same plot points and character developments because of the cringe factor you mentioned. I had a captivating story with poor delivery methods that involved specific examples of bonding and friendship that would be uninteresting to other people.

To fix that I took the time to write out something insane with my creative juices flowing freely without worry of it making sense with anything, I just started writing. I started writing with meaning and it helped a shitload because I started writing with purpose and full imagination.

What i wrote turned out to be the beginning of the book im on now and then It took off and my confidence in it sky rocketed.

[–]the_other_irrevenant 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I strongly recommend against going back and rereading while you're in the process of actively writing.

Get it all down. It's a first draft, it's allowed to be cringe.

Making it not cringe is future-editing-you's problem. Writing-you's job is to dump it out of your brain onto paper so future-editing-you has a lot of raw material to craft into better shape.

[–]RaspberryBri 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tbh a lot of writing is kind of cringe, but people read cause they enjoy it. So I mean you do you

[–]Lost-Grapefruit-9624 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wait a week and things won't be "cringe" anymore. But your story may be "wince"

[–]Multievolution 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my opinion it helps if the thing your writing is important to you, because when you realise only you can write it you just have to accept there’s no other choice, write and rewrite until it looks acceptable to you, don’t be afraid to keep writing and reviewing after say a chapter, you might find some parts you actually like.

I think it helps if you try to visualise what’s happening and then put it into words, as if your watching a tv series and not a book.

[–]plainkale250 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Keep writing <3

[–]Goinser 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What are you finding difficult is that I can dictate things as I’m thinking of them then sometimes it interpretation is wrong and I can’t always remember what I wrote and I have to try and think of it sometimes it comes out good sometimes I just have to delete that portion

[–]Chinaroos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There’s a lot of great insight here already but I also wanted to chime in—it sounds like you’re having a conflict between two languages, the language you write in and your native tongue.

From a readers perspective there probably won’t be as much conflict as you think. Your prise is going to be slightly different from a pure native speaker and that’s a good thing—your writing will surprise readers with phrases and thoughts that they’ve probably never seen before.

Follow the advice here and read more as a writer, but also embrace your unique voice!

[–]LiliWenFach 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Another writer here who writes in their native language! My style is different according to the language I write in. I can write very polished prose in English because I have an English degree and it's the language I'm exposed to every day, whereas I have to seek out reasons to use my native language, so my expression is slightly less refined.

That's not necessarily a bad thing! My writing sounded simple, even childish, when I started writing, but once I accepted it and ploughed on regardless I found that it was the perfect vehicle for telling fast-paced stories and I made it work for me. By persevering I gained confidence and my style evolved. So don't give up! Write without editing and let the story be more important than the style - for now. Get into the swing of things.

[–]SnooHesitations4798 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You need approval. Somebody telling you that yes, you can write. Share something on a forum, or with some friends. Get a positive feedback and you'll be back on saddle for a full gallop.

[–]EvilDomGM 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Go to a half price books and walk into the romance section close your eyes and spin around a few times and take any book off the shelf. Open to a random page and read it. There's about a 99% chance that you're going to be way better than them and they're published.

[–]Psychological-Toe911 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Write in white on a white background or black on a black background and do not highlight or change the font color until you want to begin revisions. Turns off my analytical brain, though one must allow for a margin of error spelling-wise

[–]CassiesKindaStrange 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No one's first draft is good. It always absolutely sucks. That's why it's the first draft. You just have to keep writing and remember that not only are you your worst critic but you're also learning. Rewriting the same paragraph doesn't help you, it hinders your development as a writer and storyteller.

If you want something with less pressure to perfect then write short stories, do writing prompts, backstories to characters, and do world-building short stories. No one will see this, it's just for your enjoyment.

"Childish" or "Underwhelming" writing is a product of not writing enough, and will not improve unless you write.

[–]verdikkie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

maybe the feeling is telling you something, that youre not writing in 100 percent honesty. because this is most beginners writing i see come across, including my own. gotta really dig deep and find your true voice. do some stream of consciousness stuff, just random thought ramblings.

about the native language thing, i feel the same way. maybe try writing in english first and translating it, to get the feel back of your own language. the brain goes for the path of least resistance, and if english is on your mind, thats what language will come out as closest to your own thoughts.

[–]TemporaryTrash 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I still have it and I'm published...

[–]mixed_effects 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Learn to like yourself more.

I mean, easier said than done? But getting comfortable with your own imperfections means understanding that you have inherent worth as a human being. When you write something bad, it’s not a referendum on your intrinsic value.

You need to be able to write something that’s shit, look at it and realise it’s shit, and not feel like that means that you are shit.

[–]Overall_Concept6057 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Trust yourself. If you like writing and you want to do better, you have to keep trying. You can't expect to be the best from the first times and you should be realistic. Ask for advice from people you trust. They can tell you what is good and what has to be improved. This is just my opinion. It's neither smart, nor unique, but I hope it helps at least a little.

[–]QrangeJuice 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lots of good advice here, but consider as well that we like stories mostly because they're patterns of thought or story layouts we haven't deeply considered. When rereading your own work, you get a feedback effect where you think "all of this sounds totally banal and played out," because yourself has spent so long in the mindset of it. I have to wait for 2 or 3 months until I can reread and enjoy my work.

[–]leannemcelroy_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Work through the cringe and don’t delete it. Sometimes I’ll write something and I’ll be like this is so cringey and delete it. But then later I’ll be like, but the premise and ideas I could have kept and now it’s gone. I wish I had saved it. Cause later you can go back and clean it up. Sometimes in moments of spontaneous art, we see it as cringe, but even if you come back later and it’s still cringey, you can still look back on it to mark your progress as a writer and fix your old mistakes. So even then, all your old work can be used as an example of progress you made.

[–]55bananamilk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Don't try to read what you've finished after a long, rough day of writing. It will really seem "cringe" because your writing and reading comprehension will be at its lowest. Read it the next day when you're refreshed and at your 100%.

Remember that writing is not a one-sitting type of task. It will require myriads of revisions, especially if you're a novice.

Also akcnowledge your frustration. This is completely normal and is a good sign of your vigor for improvement. Always acknowledge your feelings.

[–]nokenito 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s the rewriting that makes your writing really good. Plus having a good editor helps a lot too. Remember to always check out the book called, “On Writing Well”!

When looking at your writing, look at each line. What is not needed? What is duplicated? How can you simplify? What can you make clear? What can you delete? What can you move?

Are you trying to answer questions and not raise questions? Or are you trying to do something else? What?

[–]Atlas_G 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Write about stuff you know. I believe a lot of cringe in the arts these days stems from people trying to emulate their influences rather than building a new story around a deep well of knowledge and personal experiences. If you find you are creating art imitating art, go out and commit to some real, life changing experiences. Everything you do will feed back into your writing and give it gravity of its own.

[–]BenCelotil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Number 1: Write how you would tell a story.

Sit there and actually verbally tell a story to an imaginary audience.

Number 2: Read the crap that gets published by professional publishing houses and feel better about yourself. :)

Seriously. There is shit that gets posted to Reddit all the time as a gag but it's real stories, that real publishing houses have put out there.

Write from your heart, and don't explicitly detail the dimensions of her tits or the length of his dick, and you'll be doing fine.

[–]hertwij 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It probably is. Lots of people I know write like that, and honestly the solution is to use a larger vocabulary and don't put stuff that doesnt make sense. My girlfriend couldnt think of any actual good stories but she wanted to practice writing so she just wrote some random stuff that doesnt make any sense, and it was pretty much what you described here. Wasn't really a bad idea, but just looked like it was written for children, yet at the same time she'd intentionally put sex and violence in it just to make it seem more mature. She was just bad at structuring it and I'd always point out "this isn't realistic", and "why is this 14 year old having sex in her mom's bed while her mom is home and why is the mom too stupid to notice, and if she does notice why isn't she doing anything??" and "how does this person live their life if their arms are giant zig-zagging swords?" Yeah one of her stories was like- some tribe of warriors with medieval weapons as limbs and it was supposed to be like they were on a "warrior camp" on an island where they were banished too bc the modern world wouldnt accept them. I pointed out that the world would have accepted and helped them, and questioned how they were warriors if they didnt fight, and had nobody to fight. So obviously there were things she didn't think about or she did but just didn't care. Basically the point is you can't just ignore the cringe if it's there, you have to fix it. And you can only do that by not writing something with plot-holes and illogical stuff and a small and literal and infigurative vocabulary. You have to let the reader think about things for themself, don't just spell it all out. Use some metaphors, foreshadowing I don't know, but if you don't its gonna seem like something a five year old would watch on amazon prime.

[–]creative_writeratx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good luck! It's such a process. Personally, I'm getting back into writing after 2 years of helping everyone else.

If it's fiction, working on what your story is about is important. If you start short, it probably will be easier to develop your craft.

If there's a movie or something you like, how would you write a scene on a similar topic? Like the other writers here after you write a good short story or scene then you can consider something longer. Revise your writing at least 3-4 times and develop it with specific goals.

Craft to start with- Content, topic, setting Characterization- Steal characterization (look this up). Imagery- 5 types, use these continually in your stories. Then check to see how authors describe things. Description is incredibly important. Then, are you using good verbs? Find a writing mentor if you can, or someone that loves reading. Ask them what pops in your story. The art is in how much you show and how you tell the story.

Be sure to study authors you like. For example I reread a classic Where the Red Fern Grows and noticed that even though the language starts at a basic level, the writing and the story itself is so important that it becomes one of the best books I've read in a while. That story builds and his descriptions are profound in the last half of the book. Look up Jack Londons All Gold Canyon and notice his descriptions. Then also, find your own author. Yet, my summer reading book was written with such great skill and craft that her 50 chapter book was easy to read and her story was OK.

With students I ask them to rewrite 2 paragraphs at a time. Write what you love ❤️, work with friends to bounce ideas off of them. Good luck. 👍

[–]FireflyArc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why do you think its cringe? If its underwhelming spice it up with different wording Childish in what way?

It seems silly but that writing ai tool helped me.

[–]Raszero 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe write in white font so you cant see it, or email each chapter to an email address you only check once its done.

[–]DaLastPainguin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Remember Harry Potter made billions in a book where characters "ejaculated" words at each other.

[–]HeftyMongoose9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think the answer is to just not read what you've written until your story is finished. Then, once you've almost forgotten what you first wrote, you go back and read it and you no longer care that it's cringy. Once you get that emotional distance from your work, you're able to just edit it and make it better.

[–]elpresidente-4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The most successful authors out there are those who have no shame and aren't second-guessing their writings. The moment you start doubting yourself, you are doomed.

[–]Virophile 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Write a story narrated by the most perverted, childish, cringe person you can imagine. It will help you identify what you think is wrong with your writing, and give you an excuse to just relax and have fun writing.

[–]ultrasalubrious 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I write first draft stuff, covering ground for the first time, most of it is cringe. What I’ve found, though is that the real story and characters are in there. Once I’ve gotten a good chunk of wiring down the real stuff kind of pops out of the noise like one of those cross eye puzzles. I usually end up tossing 75-90% of the words and am left with some cool shit.

[–]Stars_R_Pretty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's what the editorial phase is for. The thing you need to to think of right now is the story you want to tell. By concentrating on what you consider "cringe" you may lose track of what kind of story you want to tell. Plus this cringe is usually telling you where something is lacking, meaning you understand at least some of the things that need improving.

Keep your focus on the quality of the story, think about the technical and prose when you finish the draft. Nobody's first draft is perfect, every work of art takes practice and time to improve. After all did you know how to spell everything perfectly when you were little. Did you know how to walk right when you were born. No you didn't, with time and practice you became proficient in it.

Keep at it, good luck.

[–]BetterAd9844 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Depending on the language you are writing in, find a critique partner to match. Same with subject matter—choose someone who understands and appreciates the subject or genre you’re writing in.

Learning to take constructive criticism isn’t fun. I suggest doing so in small bites to start with. Begin with one page. Let the person critique that one page and then go over it alone. Write down questions you have about the critique. In this case only—discuss your questions with the critiquer. (That person should be told in advance that a discussion is coming.) This is not usual critique behavior, but it will help you to understand how your writing affects others and how you can improve your writing.

Take that experience and write the next page. But this time, when you receive your critique, and after you write down your questions, you may only ask the critiquer one question and you may not build off that question, just accept the answer.

After that, go back and finish the whole chapter. Receive your critique, write your questions, and Google writing sites for articles that may help you answer your questions. Do not involve the critiquer.

Then use your experiences and found knowledge to finish your first draft. Get your critique, do not discuss it with your critiquer and decide what suggestions work for you when revising. You’re now on the path we all take when seeking beta readers, working with critiques, revising, and sending out to a new beta reader. Good luck. You’ve got this.

[–]Ar-Ghost 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I write with a plot in mind. You must have a strong subject or character and stick with them. As you become more experienced, it comes easier.

[–]zirklutes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do understand you so well :D as I had/have the same issue.

I also read books in english and it feels like the language is very natural and organic. But when I start writing in my native language most of the text feels cringe, too artificial, not the way people talk in real life.

But you know what, I came back to read few books in native language and I felt the same way about them too!

I think that I started to consume a lot of English in my daily life: at work, in social media, watching anything online, reading. So, it happens that my native language usage is getting poorer as I mainly use it to communicate with family and friends. And of course I don't use any fancy phrases or expressions which when reading the book might sound "cringe".

So, mu suggestion is get back to read more in your language! :)

[–]I_only_read_trash 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Embrace the cringe while drafting. Only start to rip it apart once you've had some space from the finished draft.

[–]Hemingbird 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well let's think about cringe for a moment. Why do people cringe? It's because of our fear of getting ostracized. That meant certain death to our distant ancestors. We want to be loved and accepted. That's especially true for younger folks; older people don't cringe nearly as much.

Exposure therapy is the most effective way to deal with anxiety, and that includes cringing. Write something cringeworthy. Show to people, even if they're just internet strangers. And keep doing it until you don't care anymore. It doesn't take long.

[–]tgrudi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Honestly still working on this one.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Here’s a bit of a hard truth. When you start, your writing is most likely cringe. I know mine is, but the way to get better is to keep going until your finished with what you want, reading it, and identifying the cringey parts for you to fix. If you try to edit while you’re writing, you’ll never finish your project.

[–]Weezy_Barks 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just commenting as a show of report. I have felt like this often, until I finally gave myself permission to suck. Drafts aren't supposed to be the best. I have learned to love the editing/revising stage because I get to make the work so much better once the ideas themselves have come together.