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Insecure Writer's Support Group Post---Miscommunications in Literature

This is a post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group 

Sorry my post is a day late, but this has been a daunting week.  I had to deal with some personal issues that arose with my teenager.  Without going into too much detail, when I confronted my son about his behavior, he tried to turn the situation on me.  Of course I stopped him cold, but not before he fed me a few snippets from  conversations we had over the years.  While doing this, I was taken aback by how often he misconstrued what I said.  Seriously, his interpretation was totally off the mark.

 This experience caused me to wonder whether miscommunication occurred in literature. It certainly exists in e-mail and texts.  I can't count the times I misinterpreted the meaning of a message.  Since my stories have a moral to them,  I suddenly became concerned/insecure about whether or not the readers got what I was trying to say.  If  this happened, then it would definitely detract from the power of my piece.  Although I try to write clearly and concisely, in the end, people see what they want to see.

Do any of you know of a way to keep misinterpretations in writing down to a minimum?  If so, I'd be interested to know how you do this.  Until next time my friends, happy writing.


  1. Sorry you're having a rough week. Hope things turn around soon.

    This is a great point! You, know, I hadn't even thought about that. It's so true about emails and texts.

    I'm curious to see what others will have to say.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Jamie. Things are good. Yes, it will be interesting to see what types of comments I get. Take care.

  3. Wish I did! I guess to a degree, some things are left up to the reader, because we each bring such different experiences to the situation. We won't all see it the same way no matter what.
    After all, people misinterpret stop signs all the time!

  4. When I was in high school I interpreted "All that glistens is not gold." to mean, Gold isn't the only thing that glistens. You are in good company. My wife is a very concise person. I just don't listen or take things out of context and unconsciously ignore it if it doesn't suit my needs. It's especially true if you teach or correct. How many interpretations are there of the Bible? I have a teenager and the only time we communicate is if I talk to him about anime. He just blew a complete four year scholarship. What do you think he is trying to hear? Communication is tentative on a good day.
    Don't sweat it.

  5. Curmudgeon, very good points. I can relate to the challenges you're facing with your teen. I swear it's like they've been taken over by an evil alien. Lately I've looked at some of the choices my middle son has made and wondered if he ever listened to anything I taught him over the years. A friend of mine once said that God created teenager so it would make it easier for parents to let them leave the nest. I'm beginning to think this is true. Keep your spirits up, this too shall pass. All the best.

  6. Everyone will read their own experiences into what we write. I think the surest way to avoid most problems is to have a great critique group to root them out.

    Sorry your teen is acting out. It happens. The teen years are tough. Do you best and say a prayer for both of you.

  7. Thanks, Carol. I could use all the prayers you want to send my way.

    Take care


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