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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 4 November 2010

BTT: Good Or Bad

Suggested by Barbara:
I’ve seen many bloggers say that what draws them to certain books or authors is good writing, and what causes them to stop reading a certain book or author is bad writing. What constitutes good writing and bad writing to you?

First of all, let me say that among books I've laid aside have also been renowned classics and award-winning contemporary novels. Sometimes I might recognize stylistic skill, but the content of the book may still not be to my liking. The opposite is also true: If I find the story or characters or facts or ideas interesting enough, I might overlook certain deficiencies in language and narrative style.

That said, I would say that good writing includes the ability to capture the reader's interest from the start and keep it up until the end. Really good writing also leaves behind a sense that I might want to read the book again some day, even though I know how it ends. Or write down quotes from it, or recommend it to others, or discuss it.

Bad writing, consequently, would be the kind that never manages to get me engaged in the story or the characters at all. Bad writing also often includes things like needless repetition, too much predictability, sidetracks that take you too far away from the main story, introduction of things that are never properly explained, or last-minute "out of the blue" solutions at the end.   


Trish said...

I'm loving this week's question and keep saying, "Yes, yes!" to the posts I am reading. This is all so true!

barbarah said...

You brought out a lot of good points that I hadn't thought of.

Sandra said...

good writing to me, means i pick it up and can't stand to put it down and keep turning pages to get to the end and when i reach the end, i am sad to leave the story and i coninute to think about it after i put it down. like the people become REAL to me. bad writing is when i pick it up and after a few pages or chapters think who cares and put it down

Tribute Books Mama said...

Good writing is not boring, and peaks your interest, throughout the book.

Bad writing is when a book doesn't have substance & doesn't appeal to the reader in many ways.

La Coccinelle said...

Most of the answers I've read so far today are similar to yours. I'm kind of on the other end of the spectrum with this one. The premise can be one of the greatest I've ever seen... but if the technical aspects of the writing (grammar, punctuation, etc.) aren't done well, I will abandon a book (or at least give it a bad review).

young-eclectic-encounters said...

I agree completely with this post. I am a very eclectic reader and can usually tell pretty quickly whether I will enjoy a book but I almost always give a book at least 50 pages to prove itself one way or another.
Johnina :^A

Ginny said...

I agree completly with your definition! And here's something interesting I heard years ago. If you can still remember the main character's name years later, it was a really good book!


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