Q is for Quality

qualityQuality, it’s a thing that all of us view differently, including publishers. Trying to polish up the perfect manuscript to send off to agents and/or publishers can be a tiring and stressful process for an aspiring writer. To edit your novel down into the acceptable word count range, to not use cliches or repetition, and various other aspects of ‘bad writing’ to avoid and kill. A frustrating prospect by itself but even more so when you find yourself reading published works that are riddled with those same aspects of ‘bad writing’ you are advised not to put in yours.

There are examples of this that we can all find and personal taste is a huge factor when talking about the quality of published works. Everyone will have their own examples of books they consider poor quality, and the reasons for those choices

My (Loz’s) personal choices are any works by Dan Brown, because to me they read like screenplays, and also talk down to the reader, over labouring and repeating points, assuming the reader is stupid.

Also Twilight, but that’s just personal rage about the representation of women…what can I say I’m a Buffy girl.
And before you ask, yes I read before I judge.

Like Loz, I (Jed, now) also hold Dan Brown and Twilight as examples – Brown especially because of his ‘info-dumps’ – a large amount of information supplied all at once, especially as background information in a narrative without being eked out or interwoven throughout. But my main personal choice is probably a controversial one, and that is Steven Moffat – especially his writing in Series 5 and onwards of ‘Doctor Who’. I can think of many examples of repetition or belittling the audience and just in general the way he writes women.

Have you ever felt frustration at what you perceive as bad writing? Or is there a particular book that makes you cringe?

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