I’ve changed my mind

Posted by on Mar 4, 2011 in General Chaos | 3 comments

A few months ago, I posted on a forum saying that it made me angry that less than super-talented writers were having a lot of success in traditional publishing. Now, I said at the time that it wasn’t out of jealous, though of course I am jealous of someone who gets paid to do what I want to get paid to do, but that wasn’t my primary reason. The anger stems from the fact that there are a ton of very talented authors who have been hitting their heads against walls trying to get an agent or publisher to notice them. A similar thread started today on another forum, and someone posted a similar sounding thing to what I said a few months back. I realized that what I’d said sounded catty and now I regret that.

I haven’t changed my opinion. There is a lot of very bad writing that sells millions of copies. Who am I to argue with success?

That brings me to the reason for this post. Really, what good is all the work to polish and work on craft? It seems like if you have a story that someone wants to read, writing well really doesn’t matter. I don’t have an answer, and I’m not sure if I find it comforting or troubling.



  1. Hello Coral

    I understand your frustration even though I haven’t noticed all that many bad writers being published. But than again I’m a pretty easy reader; things like plot holes don’t usually bother me, I can like stories with a lot of Tell in them etc.. And at the moment I’m not reading a lot of magazines, which I probably should be doing.

    Sometimes it is a manner of taste though. I just reviewed a story on Daily Science Fiction that started with a First sentence I would have thrown out. The third sentence wasn’t so hot either even though for a different reason. But the rest of the story was well done I thought.

    BTW I am jealous of certain people. A writer by the name of Margaret Ronald. I checked out her web site and she has sold stories to almost every magazine I want to. But two others are just starting out and are just a little ahead of me. But I feel like I should be where they are.

    And another BTW I like your web site. I got to find out if I can do the thing with the what I’m reading now and how far along you are with writing a story/novel.

  2. I’m not all that critical about what I read, I don’t think. If I like the characters, I can tolerate a lot of problems. That said, I’ve tried to read a few of the “new hotness” authors lately and I can barely get through a chapter.

    I guess what frustrates me most is that there are all these rules that we are told to follow as authors, and it seems that no one who is actually picked up these days follows them. What good does it to me to follow those rules?

    Re the site: Those are widgets in WordPress. Not sure what exactly you can do with Blogspot, but I’d imagine they offer similar stuff.

  3. I share your frustration with the rules thing too. I was on another site-not the one we share- with an assistant editor who helps writers get their stories written well enough to be able to have a go with a certain magazine.

    She, and some of her helpers, keep stating that I have broken a rule or three. But all I’m doing-in some cases- is modal after a pro writer. In other words if I’m breaking a rule so are they. But two things here, one is because I modal-subconsciously most times-a certain section after someone that doesn’t mean I did a good job of following them. (I hope all of that makes sense) Second is that it has always been that way, the long time pros get away with things us beginners can’t. Either because the already have a name or because they know how to do it. As Dean Wesley Smith advises you need to know the rules before you can break them.

    Plus I think you have a point about publishers not being so concerned about rules these days as they used to be. That could be because there’s a new crop of young editors that have joined publishers and/or the publishers need more writers so they aren’t being so critical. They need more writers because they are dropping more. Supposedly its harder to get on now but sometimes I wonder because of what I just said.

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