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.
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...
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.