I read something along these lines recently and I can't remember who wrote it. King? Hemingway? There's no excuse for poor writing, but I'm thinking about the value of a good story idea. Is a good story line so powerful that it can even withstand poor writing? Is a story line so vital that even good writing can't save a bad one? I published a really bad flash fiction story the other night here on HP. I pulled it down after a few minutes, but ten people got to witness my poor judgement. The writing wasn't the problem. It was the story line. Your thoughts?
sort by best latest
I'm with you on this one. Book readers pay good money, so they should expect at least both a good story AND good writing. I have to admit I've let one or two typos through in editing my books, though.
Lela, to me, your logic is as sound as it could be. A good writer simply won't stop until both the quality of writing and the strength of the story line are the best she/he can make them. Thanks for a thoughtful, straightforward answer.
And thank you! Chris. I like the idea of once discovering a good writer means that other books by the same writer will probably be good too. It's not a given fact, but something to base reading choices on.
You're welcome, Lela. There are loads of good insights here. It's a good read all the way through with excellent comments from very good writers. You stayed close to my question and nailed some important points. Thanks everyone who commented.
Can't argue with that logic, Lela. Good writers and good stories are inseparable.
Faith, Wow, there is some great input in these answers, your's included. Your last sentence sums it up well, "A good story becomes great when the writing is excellent." Thanks for participating in this question.
Thanks, I, too, have unpublished two of my hubs just because I was not happy with the final product. I think we can sense if it is good or not ourselves. I wish I had a chance to read yours before you unpublished though.
You two are brave people to pull down a story when you're not happy with it. Every artist (writer, musician, painter, etc.) thinks of their creation as the most beautiful baby in the world. To see it in reality though, that takes guts.
I do believe when one writes from the heart, one cannot go wrong! Good points shared here, especially about the YouTube comments.
Excellent thoughts here Marie, and thanks for including some concrete examples to support your ideas. Passion about the process and the product will motivate us to produce excellent stories and articles that are written well. Thanks for taking part
Now that you know what's missing from your stories Will, are you going to write about sex starved cowboys and injuns?
If I had to resort to that in order to be read, I'd probably just hang up my spurs.
Ok, maybe I'll give it a go then. That Wes Study guy has always looked like one sexy injun to me. And I think the world is ready for some Native American hot stuff. Cowboys? They can be hot too.
Have at it! I'll give it a read.
LOL....Austin....I was married to a Native American for 12 years......but, My LIPS are sealed! I tell no secrets...:)
LOL, sad but true, Will!
Will, how can anyone argue with math? It's a 1+1=2 equation. I do believe you are correct that mediocrity is the result in each case. What we need are excellent writers and excellent stories that include well written sex scenes. ;-)
Those are great analogies there, Blair!
Blair, I appreciate your use of music to illustrate. My son and I were discussing this and he,also a musician, related it to music. The emphasis on writing as art is important, although there is an element of scientific precision as well. Thanks
Faith Reaper, Thank you. You are very kind. :-)
I agree, M. T. Dremer, that it is the responsibility of good writers to produce the highest quality writing for readers. In the day of self publishing, it is up to the writer to aim for a high standard.
Sandeep, I can't disagree with your premise, but I'm wondering about some examples of such writers. If such writers have become famous, I would think it to be the exception rather than the rule. Thanks for participating here.
Chris, You know the "soft boggy areas of land that give way underfoot" (dictionary def of quagmire) it's where the feet get wet! Perhaps that's where the storyline can begin to be told: Go for it! ~Christine
Chris, I know that if anyone can turn around a story, you can! I'm sure you can sort your own story out and produce a stunner. Go for it!
Ann, Ann, Ann.... now you've got me thinking about that story again. Thanks for that. Haha. I may have a look at it.
I'm waiting to read it, Chris!
Christine, you've provided a very interesting answer that includes examples to give credence to your position. I appreciate your well thought out answer to this question.