Friday, June 18, 2010

Confession time

Oh, gentle readers, I got some great comments on the post about good writing in YA yesterday. Looks like most of you feel as I do - YA and poor writing don't have to be synonymous, but there are definitely some perpetrators out there. And while the post yesterday was about YA, I wanted to extend the conversation to all genres.

Because I have a confession to make.

Well, several confessions. About authors whose writing I hate.

GASPSHOCKHORROR! I know, childrens. I know. Am I even allowed to hate other writer's writing? Well, as a reader, sure. As a newbie writer, I hesitate to even say such things.


Because there are big names on this list, childrens. Celebrated authors. Timeless authors. Award-winning authors.

And yet...I can't stand to read them. Maybe Athena will strike me down for this, but it's Friday and I have to go into work early and I'm a little loopy, so I'm putting it out there.

The culprit: Cormac McCarthy
The crime: Gross negligence in regards to grammatical structuring.

The culprit: Charles Dickens
The crime: Overwriting. The best of overwriting, the worst of overwriting. The age of indulgence, the age get the point.

The culprit: Edith Wharton
The crime: Boring the crap out of me, and creating unrelateable characters.

The culprit: Erich Maria Remarque (wrote All Quiet on the Western Front)
The crime: Whining.

So you see, childrens? These are MUY FAMOSO authors whose writing I can't stand to read. And did you notice anything? No? I'll wait...take a look...that's right, NONE of them are YA authors. Sure, I could fill my left shoe with a list of YA authors whose writing I don't like for one reason or another, but this list proves two things (well, three):

1) High school required reading lists scarred me
2) YA authors aren't the only ones out there bucking the rules
3) Writing quality and style are very much a matter of personal opinion

What has this post accomplished? I'm not sure. Do I feel better getting this off my chest? Maybe. But not as good as I'll feel once my caramel latte shows up. Nom nom nom...sorry, what was I saying?


Lydia Kang said...

A caramal latte can fix anything. I'm sure of it.
I have so many complaints about writers that are big and I don't like. And some are (gasp) YA too. Since I write YA, I read a lot of it, and it takes a lot for me to love a YA book these days. Which makes me really hard on myself, as a result!
so, yeah, don't feel bad. I'd think something was wrong with you if you loved everything you ever read, ya know?

Solvang Sherrie said...

I think the fact that personal opinions differ so much is the key thing to remember in this business. So even if one agent hates your writing, someone out there will love it. The trick is finding that one person!

rebel_of_nowhere said...

I agree with most of these; Charles Dickens always particularly irked me.

Some of my favorite books, like The Giver, are YA, but it's not a genre I usually prefer. I'm pretty sure you can write a bad book in any style, though, and same for a good one.