Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

So I haven't posted since the 1st (boo, hiss on me), but this month has not quite gone as planned! :-)

Been hearing about lots of book sales, paperback releases, foreign releases, etc. SO happy for my fellow writers. Their success is all of our success, because it means publishers are buying books. Anything to get publishers buying more books is a good thing for writers, right?! So it disheartens me to see so much negativity all over the Internet with writers criticizing other writers who are selling a lot of books. I'm not talking constructive criticism here people- I'm talking downright attacking.

It definitely puts an ugly spin on things. Now, to be fair, not all writers bash others, and I am not talking about someone saying "I just don't like that book". We're all entitled to our opinion, but over the last couple of years I've seen a lot of "this person can't write at all" or "his/her writing just absolutely sucks". Obviously there is a market out there for everyone, from high literary concept to trashy beach reading. There's a time and place for all of it.

There are plenty of books that I have enjoyed despite poor writing. Those authors know how to tell a good story, even if the characters aren't developed that well, the grammar stinks, or the history is a little "off". In my mind, someone who can keep me interested in the story and focused on it instead of the errors and problems is a great storyteller. Not a great writer, maybe, but a great storyteller.

Compare it to movies... I love David Fincher's directing style, and I love Michael Bay's as well. They are two completely different directors in style and genre. Fincher is very dark, artistic, and symbolic in his directing. The setting is another character in his movies, and his genius continually amazes me. Michael Bay, on the other hand, directs movies that require an "in your face", blunt style. They're over the top and have lots going on at the same time, with things blowing up everywhere. He has signature camera shots that are just cool, and the colors are always vivid.

Would I say that Michael Bay deserves to win an Oscar? No- he doesn't do that type of film. What he does is give me an escape from the stress of the real world. His movies aren't the best written or acted, but I don't focus on that when I watch them. The effects, music, and visuals distract me from the flaws. His movies are candy for my brain.

When I watch a David Fincher film, I think and analyze and pay attention to the symbolism. He directs movies that are complex, nuanced, and layered in the storyline. His way of directing makes me appreciate the story and the acting even more. His movies are gourmet meals for my brain.

Gourmet meals and candy both have their place in life, and both are to be enjoyed and savored. Why should writing be any different? So embrace the "guilty pleasure" book, just like you do movies and t.v. shows. I find my mom's comment the other day pretty relevant here- "most people buying books don't care about how perfect the writing is, they just want to be entertained". I think it's time for us to lighten up on ourselves and each other and write things we enjoy. Hopefully others will get the chance to enjoy our writing too, even if we misuse commas sometimes. :-)

My favorite guilty pleasures at the moment:
T.V. Show- Gossip Girl
Book- Dan Brown- The Lost Symbol (just started it)
Movie- Any movie where things blow up or there are zombies

Got an opinion? Let me know!

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