A great plot written poorly will sell faster than a poor plot written greatly.


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Bad use of language = quick rejection. I agree with you, I.J. I read submisssions for Spinetingler these days, short stories not novels, but you can tell within a few paragraphs if the writer doesn't know what he or she is doing. The bad stuff jumps right out, right away.
The real talent lies in developing a great plot, then letting it unravel by means of intelligent, captivating and sometimes 'poetic' prose. That's when a writer will have my life-long devotion.
If you don't believe it, just read TWILIGHT.
? ? ? That's the vampire series written for adolescent girls, right?
Yes. In the bookstores this summer, this is the only book kids were asking about. Every store. Just about every kid. I picked it up out of curiosity, but couldn't get into vampires and supernatural world. But the writing looked very good...
This weekend I read a book called Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr., and the prose is so good and there's such insight into the characters that I hardly noticed how good the plot is.

The book is only 160 pages, there's not a single adverb or exclamation point, not a wasted word. It's not what people usually mean by, "beautiful language," but I find it beautiful.

I don't think it's selling very fast but I have a feeling it'll be around for a long time.
Nothing wrong with adverbs, and one can theorize that sometimes an exclamation point may be appropriate. And one man's "wasted word" may be another's "vivid language."
Tom Wolfe would certainly concur on the exclamation points!!!
In a way, style is like the smooth-talking bad boys many women love , while plot is the good boy mama hopes her daughter will one day bring home. The women know the bad boys are no good, know that he is too smooth, but they just can't help succumbing to his charrms. The good guy, on the other hand attracts his share, but we all know that inside many women who choose good boys, secretly lie the desire for the stylish but sometimes less substantive bad boys.
You're right. Unfortunately, readers seem to be looking for good plots whether the writing is unique or not. For me, though, plot isn't enough. I'm always looking for good characters (and surprising turns of phrase) first. After all, a good plot is easy. Good writing is rare. I have to disagree with Jack. Just because we're storytellers doesn't mean that plot should reign over the quality of the writing. For myself, the key to a good story is how it's TOLD, not how it develops.
Am I the only bastard here who believes in The Elements of Style?

Good writing is clear writing. It tells the story.

And 99% of the time, adverbs suck!
Adverbs suck only if handled incompetently. :)


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