Sunday, February 10, 2013

[Insert Author Name] cannot write!

The inspiration for this blog post came from my MLIS book entitled, "The Essentials of Young Adult Literature" by Carl M. Tomlison and Carol Lynch-Brown.

I was reading Chapter 4 "Modern Fantasy" when I came across black lines on the page:

This is page 63:


This is page 67:


Guess what is marked out.

"An example is Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. The first book in the suspenseful vampire romance saga, Twilight, published in 2005, became a best-seller and has been made into a popular movie" (Tomilson, Brown 2010),

"In Stephenie Meyer's vampire novel, Twilight, a teenage girl falls in love at her new school with a handsome, though, tortured vampire." (Tomilson, Brown 2010).

Okay.

Now, I don't know why sentences in my book are blacked out (and the person who owned this before me could have just...hated Twilight the book, but I'm not sure), but this brings up something I have had to come to terms with over the course of my maturing as an author: AS A WRITER, YOU SHOULD NOT BASH OTHER WRITERS.

It is a waste of time.

I mean, you can dislike a book, I am not saying you can't. I'm also not saying you can't write one-star, two-star reviews of books. I will be honest, Twilight is not my favorite book. I even attempted to reread the book as a 22-year-old, and I felt like Bella was super-depressed. When I was younger, I would say some bad things about it. But one day I realized I was being ridiculous. You know how I realized that? I read someone else's ridiculous post. Guess what they said: "Stephenie Meyer can't even spell her name right, what makes you think she can write a book?"

Okay. Okay.

Shut up. Really.

Stephenie Meyer's name is spelled that way because her father's name is Stephen.

Attacking an author in that way is super ridiculous. You might not think she can write, but really the point is, she created a world people LOVE. You might not like the characters she created, either. The point is, she created characters people can identify with, characters people LOVE even if YOU didn't.

Anyone read An Uphill Climb by Dave Sargent? I read that book when I was in the 7th grade. In the book, he describes how he had no ability to use grammar...but his words...man, those words had potential.

Here is a good blog post by Nathan Bransford: What People Talk About When They Talk About Bad Writing

Here's another: Virtual Witch Hunts

Bransford also says in another post titled "The Reverse Snobbery of Low Literary Aspirations":

Writers ignore good writing at their peril. In order to have a book published it doesn't have to be literary literary literary, but the writer has to do something very well. While there is an insanely common sentiment in the comments section that so many books published are trash and oh well anyone can do it: that's really not the caseYou may not like it, but quite a few people along the way did in order for it to find its way to the bookshelf.
Not every talented writer is a published author, but (nearly) every published author is talented. Even if you think they suck.

Meyer, even if you don't like her, DOES do things very well. She came up with a unique idea, she builds sexual tension like a maniac, and I loved the Cullen family and their dynamics.

Yeah, some of her descriptions are a little odd, but sometimes you're so engrossed in books, you don't realize that while you're reading until someone points it out, Reasoning with Vampires.

Personally, I keep my like and dislike of books to myself. It's easier that way. I've also made a point to find merit in writing I don't like. It's a good exercise.

Love,

Ashley

20 comments:

  1. Ashley, you've hit the nail on the head. I haven't read the Twilight series, but did read the free sections. She is talented, and if she'd had a good editor I think the final story(regarding her writing) would have been much different. Her characters, likable, not likable, they are well crafted, and they resonated with lots and lots of folks. If I can't give a book 4 or 5 stars I don't review. Plus, I try to remember that what goes around comes around. Do all writers want that success, I think so, do they want that kind of criticism? NO!
    Thoughtful post!
    Thank you,
    Renee

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    1. That's a good rule, Yolanda--not reviewing books unless you can give them a 4 or 5. I've read reviews on books that were 1 and 2 stars, and sometimes the points are valid, but then people just get nasty! I agree--I feel like what goes around comes around. You wouldn't want to be talked about like that, so don't do it to others.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I try to review everything I read - even the books I don't like. But it's one thing to give a book thoughtful criticism, and another to bash it. Like you said, even if I don't like a book, I always try to find things in it I did like. I think you can learn from everything you read good or bad. I mean, even if you don't like something, you can try to figure out why so you can avoid it in your own writing.

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    1. Agreed! I'm not sure people see the difference it a critique and bashing. Just because people don't like something doesn't mean it isn't good. You can hate something with a lot of literary merit. People in my AP classes in High School hated Heart of Darkness, but it's a classic.

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  3. Great post! And totally spot on.

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  4. I totally agree with you here. Her writing isn't the most literary, but I still read all 4 books in 4 days! So obviously she's got something going on ;) I think her story was very gripping.

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    1. Yeah, I read all the books, too! When I was younger, I did find them gripping--they were unlike anything I had ever read. Thanks for stopping by Trisha!

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  5. I have to agree with you on a number of points, but the thing that I always point out to Stephenie Meyer hater is that hate or love her work, she worked REALLY HARD on it. As in, she wrote the first draft, revised it to within an inch of its life. Then she revised it after she landed a publishing contract.

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    1. Agreed, Rena! That is a wonderful thing to point out. Editing is hard work. We all know that. It's also super tough! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I'm totally with you on this post, Ashley. :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! It's good to "see" you. lol.

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  7. i dont want to criticize other writers because of karma! and to each his own =)

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  8. I am totally with you!! And I can't help but think when a writer bashes a successful writer as "awful", there is but a bit of sour grapes being nibbled on. In his day, Poe was considered a hack. These writers like Meyers and Collins figured out a way to lure in readers in droves. I admire that.

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    1. Well said, Elizabeth! That is something to admire!

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  9. Agreed. There are better places to focus our time and energy. I just did a similar blog not too long ago.

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    1. Awesome Nicole! After I posted this, I notice similar blogs. I'm glad we all agree!

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