April 21st, 2005

breaking bad

I call it — like I see em’

Some writing is clumsy, or lacks depth or subtlety. Some writing is illiterate, or hackneyed or incoherent. Is it fair to judge the writer on the basis of the quality of the writing? Some intelligent people don't verbalise well, so it's dangerous to infer quality of thought from quality of writing. I know how careless my writing can be, and I don't want to be judged by it.

I expect most of you who write novels or short stories know how sad the chasm can be between the notions in your head, and the product on the page. My touchstone for poor writing is Dan Brown; but who knows, perhaps the stories in his head are marvellous. Like the music videos I magine but never create.

A spectacularly bad essay writer is Kaye Grogan, who is regularly eviscerated by The Poor Man. Collapse )