Story or Writing

DaveK's picture

I'm reading Robopocalypse: a novel by Daniel H. Wilson. Interesting and I'm enjoying it. I did find/notice two instances of what I would consider poor copy editing. More than a typo but not bad writing. Sort of like, "me and John went..." I'm not sure if that is meant to show the education level of the character but it's not in dialog or first person. In any case it was enough to pop me out of the story, to get me thinking about the writing and not the story.

That's a question I see a few times on writing forums. Do you want good/great writing or good/great plot. Of course you get those who say they want it both. That doesn't answer the question which really is – What do you think is more important the english or the idea. I think of it as a X-Y plot with plot on one axis and writing on the other. Of course everyone wants the upper right corner with great writing and plot. But how far from that corner in X or Y will keep reading?

My preference is skewed toward idea. I'm more willing to put up with marginal writing if the plot is interesting than I'll keep reading great words if I'm not interested in the story. Many times when reading a book I'll skip paragraphs and even pages if the plot is dragging. I don't know anyone who reads any and all genres in order to find great prose.


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Hey Dave - just passed by to

Hey Dave - just passed by to congratulate you on your Write1Sub1 success. Three cheers!

The question is interesting.

The question is interesting. At first, I tend to agree with you - t'is better to have an exciting well plotted story that can race through the story. But if the writing itself wasn't good enough, I doubt that would be enough to keep me from throwing the book across the room. Is it a realistic question though? As far as my own reading, the novels I've read tend to have both. I've been reading a lot of short story anthologies, and some of those have been from newer authors and new publishers, paying less than pro rates, and yes they were good but I can see there where the quality is different, both in greatness of writing and greatness of plot. I did NOT read those as fast as I've read the pro anthologies where Quality kind of takes your breath away. You can be published and good and have one or the other, but I'm not sure it can get GREAT if only one of those elements are strong.



And btw, this is Dawn

And btw, this is Dawn ( making those previous two posts... I sacrificed way too much sleep last night!