Okay... I’m getting a little crazy deep today, so hopefully you guys can bear with me.
There's all this talk in the writer's world how everything is so subjective. With getting an agent, reviews, landing a publisher, even beta reads... But Is it???
If “good” writing is subjective then why do we take courses, go to seminars, read books, etc. on how to write better? If good writing is subjective then is there any reason to get better at it? If this is the case, then isn't getting better relative?
Let me clarify.
I get the whole "We all have different tastes. What's good to one, is not to another." But isn't there a difference between taste and the quality of the product? A good critic should be able to separate the two, yes? Just because I don't like pork doesn't mean it can't be cooked to perfection. The phrase "Good writing is subjective" is usually referring to taste, not quality. So we must make a difference between "what you like" and "what is well done."
Also, there is a difference between "good writing" and "good story telling." Some of us are better writers than we are story tellers. Good writing can be both--but neither can stand on its own.
The difference between subjective and objective is a real issue with book reviews. It's why I rarely publish a bad review for a novel. There are some stories out there that I can't give a review to because it's so poorly written. But I can see how others might fall into the story and love it. That's when I choose to be silent and let the reviewing to someone else.
I don't believe that publishers think good writing is subjective. They expect a writer to grasp grammar, summon emotion, create realistic characters, unveil plot twists, hook the reader, bring the setting to life, etc.
I think that good writing is not subjective, but what makes a novel enjoyable is. Once you have good writing, whether you enjoy the story is what is to be subjective about. Or in other words: Good writing is not subjective--what *is* subjective is whether you like it or not.
Hopefully my point is coming across. Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
*Oh! And don’t forget that Tiana Smith’s awesome blog design shop give-a-way ends this week. So pop on over to her site and check it out!
**And I hope all of your projects are going well? I’m still debating which WIP to tackle next... I’ve tested the waters with both, am deciding which one I’m more passionate about.
Red. Head. Out. :D