Throwing Meat to The Sharks (Article to Check Out)

Hi All,


Just wanted to share. I know folks will have plenty of opinions. They were tearing it up on another forum. LOL!


Check out the author if you care to:


Best Wishes!



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I was not overwhelmed by Edward's article.  The article failed to define what the "framework/constraints of the genre" is/are.  He lost me halfway through.  Too many parenthetical ad hominem remarks.  I think he could have gotten his own opinions in if his sentences were shorter and better organized.  I have on occasion made the same mistakes I accuse him of making.  I then  go back and do a lot of self-editing in my head as well as on the product.

In my comment, I suggested, to learn the framework and the constraints of the genre, that folks read Donald Maass's book about writing crime stories.

You are correct, Edward's article was ground up and spit out by many of those who liberally commented.

Well, there is some truth to that.  And both Brown and Larsson are extraordinarly irritating to writers who aim to do better work, and frequently do so, yet remain unsuccessful.  Larsson is actually better than Brown because he has at least the beginnings of a complex character in his female protagonist. And while his plots tend to be boring, they are not at least stupid and contrary to fact as Brown's are.

So why do they appeal to more readers (paying readers)? Brown writes to the secret and not so secret beliefs of a lot of Americans and also writes to women.  Larsson writes to women, but his success is also due to his demise  before he could enjoy the acclaim.  This made for an excellent publicity campaign.

I've read some fairly bad literary novels, and it's probably true that they have nothing to fall back on.  Mysteries and thrillers do have built-in suspense. 

On the other hand, neither a mystery nor a thriller is by definition unable to aspire to literary excdellence.  I give you Ken Bruen's Irish series.

I read the article, but there's too much bullshit in it to take the other 25% seriously.

LOL, Dana!

My goodness, Docx sure is pretty.  I’m surprised he didn’t have a speedo shoot of him leaning into a Maserati in his photo line up.  I especially like the pic of him sitting in the chair with the Versace scarf he’s wearing.   I wonder what he would think of the unrefined, hey-bail wagon riding, colonist from Oregon like me.  Hey wait a minute… I’m passing judgment here.  Sorry.  CJ   

I've made my peace with this kind of discussion. I don't see it as"genre or literary" but as "art or entertainment." There are plenty of good, entertaining genre novels that tell me what I already know and offer me reassuring arguments that the world is exacly how I see it. And there are plenty of literary novels that do that, too.


Sometimes I come across a crime novel or a science fiction novel or a literary novel that makes me uncomfortable, that makes me question my view of the world and gets me to see things in a different way.


Do you have a good or bad feeling when you "question [your] view of the world and gets [you] to see things in a different way?"

Well, given that I'm usually wrong about the world, seeing things in a different way is good ;)



Great, but why do you think you are "usually wrong about the world"?

In college I wrote sonnets that hit the mark on rhyme and meter but failed to deliver any deeper satisfaction. I thought they were bad poems, but maybe they were genre poems.

This is a disgustingly bone-headed article. There is easily as much crap 'literary' fiction in the world as there is anything else, and 'literary' is every bit as much a genre as is science-fiction or fantasy.


somebody spoke for me.

I agree, Jack. I am so sick of this bickering. I am proud to say I am a GENRE author! I don't care if folks wanna throw me into a category based on assumptions, whatever! Literary is definitely genre too. The only thing that's different is back in the days of classic literary novels, THEY DID NOT CLASSIFY books then. But if those books were written today, they'd be classified.

Some folks argue that you can't classify "true literary" novels. Bull! I could classify any novel you name, literary or otherwise. Might not be easy and some might cross multiple genres, but anything can be labeled. It might not be something obvious but it can be done.


It's all about jealousy, plain and simple. Genre fiction sells better and it's what most people of today want. It's what drives the publishing industry and "literary" writers can't accept that so they wanna say it's not valuable or doesn't deserve the respect it gets.  It's popular. Sorry but they gotta get over it. Writers shouldn't be worrying about what other authors are doing or how their sales are anyway. That's no one's business. When you sit around being bitter and then trying to tear down what someone writes, it shows why you haven't gotten anywhere.

And for folks who think that writing a GOOD detective novel, mystery or any other genre novel is just a piece of cake, let them try it.

Now I haven't read ANYTHING by Dan Brown but I have heard awful things about his writing. But I wouldn't make an opinion until I've read his work. Heck, I might love him. I'll check him out one day just to see if he's as bad as people say. For someone so bad, he's doing something right because he's the hottest author out there now.

As for Larsson, haven't read Girl/Tattoo but all I have to say is, it must have some kind of spark if it's sold so well.


Funny, I've heard of both of these authors many times, despite not ever reading their work. Never once heard of the dude that wrote this article. Could that be the reason he wrote this bashing piece? I don't know why The Guardian would even publish it! I think he's trying to get his name out there to boost his own sales. Bashing other writers isn't the way to do it.

Also, if he's gonna continue to write articles and bash others in the process he could use a good word processor program and grammar checker.


Best Wishes!


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