Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bad Writing

This movie looks intriguing, but I'm not quite sure whether or not watching it will give me a complex.

I already know a lot of what I write is crap, and I agree with the comments made around 1:26 of this video about bad writing being about falseness--the inability of the writer to articulate in words their view of the world (although I resent the fact that he chose "her" as his pronoun of choice. I know he had to as it's proper but plenty of "him"s produce crap as well). I think a lot of bad writing happens when people try to write about things they don't know well enough to describe. To me, writing requires the author to show the reader the world they already know from a new perspective, and do with authenticity. My problem I think, is that I have trouble pulling together words and descriptions so that they sound real and not completely fabricated. Or, that's the problem I'm having with my current story.

Back to the movie--I'll probably see it, but I might have to crawl into a hole for a couple of months afterwards.

Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Jetpacks said...

To quantify something as "bad" requires that the person saying so could do better.

I'm currently dealing with a couple of agents. One of them read the first few chapters and dismissed my characters as "straw men that you get to huff and puff and blow down." He said, "I don't get the sense that you really love your characters."

First of all, since when did a writer have to love his/her characters in order for the writing to be good? Secondly, he only read the first few chapters, nowhere near long enough to find that in the end, even the most shameful bastard of a character finds some sense of redemption.

I have started to look upon agents as people who can't write themselves and only know what they can sell.

To my original point, good writing, or any "good" art, is what I or you decide it is. You may love Tori Amos. I don't. Does that make her god or bad? Neither. It simply means you like her and I don't. I suppose she is "good" to her record label, bringing us back to the sad reality of the agent: good is what sells.

Write for yourself. If it sells, awesome.