Good Writing? Bad Writing? - Page 8


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Thread: Good Writing? Bad Writing?

  1. #71
    We give advice to help people increase their chances a publisher or agent will accept their work. Agent/publisher standards are geared toward marketability and traditional methods of writing (though there are obviously exceptions). However, it's the readers who have the real say of what's enjoyable. A novel rejected by publishers may be released on Amazon and make millions. Does it make it good? It certainly does to the people who enjoyed it.

    "Life is a risk; so is writing. You have to love it." ~ Richard Matheson

  2. #72
    Readers are morons unless they're reading my stuff.
    Has left the building.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
    Readers are morons unless they're reading my stuff.
    How do I fit the money into the computer?
    "All men are weak at some time in their lives. Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service." -- The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

  4. #74
    Actually, I have a simple criterion to determine whether art is good or not: If I could do the same or better, it's not good art..
    Apart from the implied assumption that nothing you write is any good ... better according to whom? This is something of a circular argument, 'I think it good if I think it good'.

    Surely context has some bearing, I think most of us would agree that a certain series of books about young love and vampires are not great literature for example, however they appeal to a certain type of teenage female audience and get them reading in a way that great literature probably would not. Given that this helps that audience acquire the reading habit, and that they will mature and their tastes develop, are they not doing a useful job getting them started?
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  5. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Apart from the implied assumption that nothing you write is any good ... better according to whom? This is something of a circular argument, 'I think it good if I think it good'.

    Surely context has some bearing, I think most of us would agree that a certain series of books about young love and vampires are not great literature for example, however they appeal to a certain type of teenage female audience and get them reading in a way that great literature probably would not. Given that this helps that audience acquire the reading habit, and that they will mature and their tastes develop, are they not doing a useful job getting them started?
    Well, no...I directed that comment at Rothko's "painting", his "art". My point was that Rothko's painting required no skill, no thought, no consideration. All it required was some brushes that needed the paint cleaned out of them. He cleaned his brushes on the canvas. That's exactly what it looks like.

    I suppose you could make the case that those books helps develop a reading habit, but a habit for reading what? Have you read some of these books? The grammar is atrocious, it's riddled with misspellings, and the relationships presented make you want to slit your wrists. To tell you the truth, I would prefer my kids read nothing at all than to feed their minds with that tripe.
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  6. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    Don't mention it. I like bestowing my permission, especially when it makes people feel better. You're welcome.

    I didn't say you were against improvement. I said it's impossible for you to know if you're improving. You have no objective standards to gauge improvement. But hey, if you could write another Twilight or 50 Shades and get a lot of people pleased and make a lot of money, I'm sure that will please both you and your audience and without doubt, your writing will...exist.

    You know, I wonder why we give advice around here as if there were objective rules. It is odd...
    You think a person can't tell if they're improving at something?

    That's one of the most inane things I've ever read. If you could bottle that kind of nonsense and write a novel from it, you'd be a best-seller.

    Apparently.
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  7. #77
    that comment at Rothko's "painting", his "art". My point was that Rothko's painting required no skill, no thought, no consideration.
    You can't know that. I'm not a fan, but certainly there was considerable 'consideration', thought or contemplation, and possibly skill. Others recognize it. I do not, but that does not mean it's not there just because I can't see it.

  8. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    I didn't say you were against improvement. I said it's impossible for you to know if you're improving.
    This statement is false. Education--the idea that a student can learn something--is based on the fact that the student can, in fact, recognize improvement. If you personally, cannot tell when you've gotten better at something, then it's pointless to try to teach you as you lack the ability to learn.

    You know, I wonder why we give advice around here as if there were objective rules. It is odd...
    This is what I'm talking about. If you're teachable, then advice given can be incorporated into self-assessment and you can gauge when you're doing better.
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  9. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    You think a person can't tell if they're improving at something?

    That's one of the most inane things I've ever read. If you could bottle that kind of nonsense and write a novel from it, you'd be a best-seller.

    Apparently.
    I would have to agree.

    When I started work on my WIP, after a 20 (or so) year hiatus from writing, my prose was rough to say the least. But about who words in, I could see it getting better. Things flowed more easily and it just read much better than the earlier parts.

    It was not only noticeable to me. A person here, who read the early chapters, made mention that the last few that I sent him were getting stronger.

    Most writers can tell if their work is getting better as they progress.
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

    Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and disapproving herd. --Jon Roland, 1976

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  10. #80
    I also would have to agree with the assessment that writers can see when they're becoming better writers. It's been almost a year since I started judging the fiction LMs and I have noticed several repeat contestants whose writing has improved, among them Mr. Goepner. I'm proud of the fact that we help each other improve around here.

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