The Question of Quality or Content…

Here’s a ticklish one!  Just which is most important to the average reader: the content of the story or the quality of the writing?  I know that I read certain works despite the fact that they are, in fact, not particularly well written, because I admire the breadth of imagination that has gone into them.  So, in those cases, it’s definitely substance over style.  Oddly, however, I still get immensely annoyed at printing errors!  Typographical errors are all too common, and then you get the split text, which is awful.  By split text, I mean where, say, a paragraph is suddenly, rudely interrupted by a later passage, only to be taken up again a while later.  I assume such things happen when something new is added but entirely the wrong location!

But to get back to the root question.  I can forgive a lot, if a story demonstrates an excellent vision.  The problem for me lies in discovering the good story before the poor quality of writing overwhelms me.  Most of the books that I re-read and suffer from poor writing, I originally read in my childhood or youth.  Obviously, my standards were lower then, with less knowledge of good style.  It irks me somewhat that I may be missing out on superb displays of imagination because I have now grown up and expect better writing.  Only if the story races along does it have a chance of getting beyond a few pages of reading, now.

I’d be very interested to hear from others what their views are.

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

2 thoughts on “The Question of Quality or Content…

  1. To some degree I agree with you, but as I get older my idea of what’s really original is probably a lot narrower than it was when I was younger, so it takes something better to really take my breath away. I also find that I’m much less critical of bad writing if I like the genre and the style.

    • Thanks Lise 🙂

      I agree that finding anything original is a major headache! I used to buy books in bulk, almost, but now I find it very difficult to find things that really shout out at me. Considering that the range of genres I read now has significantly grown, that’s quite sad, really.

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