how do u define a good writer

question
discussion

#81

Oof, true. I know it’s a cliche to judge a book by its cover but I totally, totally do :sweat_smile:

What’s Rebel Bookclub?


#82

Rebel Elite Bookclub is just a bookclub, ran by the Rebel community. They are insanely active, and very rigid, and pretty unforgiving about giving out strikes and kicking people out if they aren’t participating. There are a lot of members in there that give stellar feedback, and a lot that don’t hold back on pointing out flaws. I haven’t had anyone be rude, but they definitely don’t skim over plot holes, or things that don’t make sense.

Books are rotated every week and your group comments on your chapter throughout the week. It was hard to hear their opinions for the first few chapters of my book, but I swallowed my pride and re-wrote them and they were sooooo much better and my readership went up.

It’s like beta reading, but in bookclub format.


#83

Oh, that sounds really cool!


#84

It’s actually freaking awesome, hahahah. I love them so much. And they aren’t shy when it comes to giving out praise, either, so it’s a great gauge for how well your book is constructed. I’ve had one book that felt like it went through a shredder, and another that got mostly praise and excitement, from the same readers too. And even when they loved the book, they always found areas to work on, or smooth out.

I don’t think I can link anything, but if you type in Rebel Elite Bookclub, it should be the first thing you see. It’s purple with a dancer on it.


#85

I would define a good writer as someone who creates something original and full of imagination. Not something that’s overplayed or a big cliche. They would also have to have some grammar skills and not have missing plot.


#86

I don’t split hairs.


#87

Brandon Sanderson.

haha, just kidding.

A good writer is someone who knows how to write characters that feel real. That have depth and layers. A good writer is someone who keeps you guessing, and whose twists aren’t ever predictable. A good writer has an interesting plot, and writes consequences. A good writer kills their darlings.
Knows the rules so that they can break them.
A good writer makes you feel. They make you cry.


#88

It’s hard to be a creator of sorts because reading is subjective—even if a story is amazing, many people can claim it isn’t. I mean, I consider the Hunger Games to be one of the greatest pieces of fiction, but I know hundreds of people who would downright disagree with me. And while millions of people consider Twilight to be the best vampire story ever, I don’t agree. Or even for classics: I don’t think Tom Sawyer was a great story, but people consider it an outstanding piece of literature. Like, really? I think Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart is a better replacement. :woman_shrugging:

And, besides, the numbers (readers) don’t mean anything toward how good or how bad you are. If you have a low amount of views, it’s most likely because you’re not marketing it. People can’t see your work if you don’t put it out there. I did make a list of ways to market your story on someone else’s thread, so if you wish to view that, you can go here.

But anyway…

There isn’t a wrong or right way to write because the style, plot, and characters are taken into account. However, the way you write may determine how “good” or how “bad” you are based on how well such things are executed. For example, if your main character is underdeveloped, is stereotypical, and one-dimensional, then most people might consider your character bad. This can reflect on you being a bad writer. If your story has plenty (and major) plot-holes, there aren’t many “exciting” things happening, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, then most might consider your plot to be bad, which will reflect on you being a bad writer. If you don’t put any research into the story and it clearly shows (for example, if you’ve never had intercourse before and your character loses their V-card and there’s blood all over the place during the “action,” your readers can instantly tell that you never researched your story) then that can make you a bad writer as well.

The thing is, you can take these experiences, learn from them, and improve from your mistakes. You can learn to develop your characters, you can learn about storytelling and planning, you can learn about accurate research, and more.

This is where it sets you apart from being a bad writer to a beginner. All beginners are bad writers. Why? Because of the lack of knowledge on storytelling. But as a beginner, you can improve and you can learn to become a great writer. It’ll take years of practice and patience (because your first couple of stories are going to suck), but within time, you can get there. However, if you don’t learn from your mistakes and you have a giant ego, not caring about the feedback given to you (you know, acting all high and mighty), then you’re a bad writer. Bad writers, in the basic sense, are those who have bad attitudes… You may write well, but people aren’t going to react well to your sour personality. :woman_shrugging:


#89

thank you! :smile:


#90

Then it’s your opinion. but what I believe in is my opinion


#91

Thanks for understanding :blush:


#92

Someone who makes me want to turn the pages


#93

I read Thomas Sawyer a huge number of times as a teen - it was in translation, so the words that will put off the modern English-speaking reader did not put me off. I loved it because it was the quintessential rogue story, about a teenager who had adventures that were believable and in America - which at the time was a romantic setting for me (I had not an inkling that I would end up living most of my life in Canada back then).

And it was funny. Classic lit is rarely funny, and Mark Twain always is, even when he is cutting. And, yes, it also has the wistful lense of an adult looking back at the childhood ‘problems’. So, in turn, it helped me to not make a big deal of what was going on in my turbulent formative years.

I had never reread Mark Twain as an adult - but neither I did reread his nemesis Fenimore Cooper, or Maine Reed, or Walter Scott but omg, did I hate Jules Verne when I tried to read it to my kid, and I used to breathe in JV when I was 13 or thereabouts.

Overall, the literature available to me when I was growing up, differs greatly than what is available to my daughter - both in the sheer quantity and in the style of writing. I am sure if I had all twenty something books by Riordan in my library back then, I might not have reached for Twain.

If you did grew up on the books written for the most part in the 17-19th century, and the most ‘modern’ author you could get was someone burned out by the First World War, Mark Twain was a breath of fresh air, heh.


#94

There is no such thing like a ‘good writer’. everyone has a story and everyone has it’s own way of telling it. If you are judging a person for his capabilities of using grammar, synonms, adjectives, that’s a different thing.

Some people are gifted with the quality of hooking people up with their story. They can naturally frame such sentences which can captivate readers and some over the time learn through their expirences and achieve perfection in this art.

If a writer is able to justify the voice of his character, he is definitely doing a great job no matter how many his views and votes he gets.


#95

I’m going to have to strongly disagree with this sentiment.

Everyone has a story. No doubt.
Everyone has their own way of telling it. Still true I suppose.

That doesn’t mean someone’s “own way of telling it” is good at actually communicating a story. If a writer struggles to engage someone that’s readingg their story because of the way its told, that IS being a bad writer.

You’re conflating reads with quality too. Just because someone has a lot of reads does NOT mean they are a good writer. They may be the best writer in the world and never have a single read. These two things are not necessarily related.

Back to there not being any such thing as a good writer. Is writing an art? I think it is. And I bet you think it is too. It’s takes skill, craft, and an awful lot of heart to put together a work. Sounds like art to me.

Let’s look at a different art. Music. How about we be more specific. The Violin.

From your logic, you would say there is no such thing as being a “Good” violin player. They just have different taste in music that’s all. If you’ve ever heard a new violin player you know how absurd this is.

It’s the same with writing. There IS good and bad writing that has nothing to do with how many people read their work. There’s a BROAD swath of styles and voices that are all in the good camp. (Just like there are a broad swath of good violin players of hugely different styles)

But there is definitely some stuff in the bad camp.

Just to finish up, I want to double back and say I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but I think it is a dangerous point to say there is no bad writing. It makes people lazy and content with the skills that they have. “There is no bad writing! My writing is great!”

All writers should always be striving to be better. You can ALWAYS be better.

Always press for excellence!
Cheers!


#96

I don’t think there is any singular definition to what a good writer is.

A good writer could be someone who knows what they want their writing to be or the impact they want it to have or the experience --> and achieving it

a good writer could also be someone who practices and writes everyday even when they don’t want to


#97

Agreed


#98

I think we are two persons with two very different perspectives.

My talking about “own way of telling”, meant by the different writing styles writers adapt and I was basically trying to say every writer has his own style of writing which varies from writer to writer. So there can’t be one way which you can say is good and say others are bad. Everyone has a different taste.

Again, I wasn’t comparing the number of reads to the quality of work, I was talking more about the experience a person gains over the years by writing. Some people, yes have natural capabilities to be a good writer, they can captivate readers in just one shot but other they need time, they practice and achieve perfection. And maybe that’s a reason why courses for novel writing and screenwriting are becoming so popular and are high in demands. It’s your thought which sprouts in your head, NO one or in fact for the courses gives you imagination, but the courses or the practice we do by writing drafts over drafts, help in nourishing those imaginations to give a perfect piece of art.

Now coming to your example of music, which is absolutely apt but again our perspectives are different. I, myself, learned to play violin along with few other instruments. I wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t good but over years of hard work and practice, I have managed myself to become that “GOOD” you are talking about. And that’s what exactly happens in the case of writing.

And lastly coming to the ‘no bad writer thing’, yes there exists some bad writers like bad violin players, but you simply can’t abandon them by saying ‘you are bad stop writing’ or ‘you play a bad violin, stop playing it’. I don’t think you would say that, rather you would be more encouraging and say ‘fine, give it another shot’ or ‘work harder’. Now it comes to a writer, how much he is able to use the criticism, how much he can utilize the negative feedback in his work to make it better.

I agree, all writers should always be striving for better and that standards of better changes with every other work you do. there is no best. I can’t say my one particular book or advertisement I wrote is the best, my next can be much better or someone else’s can be better. So thinking you are the best is wrong.

BAD, in general, is a strong word and inspite of motivating a person to do better just saying ‘you are a bad writer’ is something I can’t do. There is no denying bad works exist infact there are some juniors and assistant who work under me. I have to do a lot of corrections in their sample draft but I won’t go saying you are bad, I would encourage them to do better.

I hope you see things from my perspective now.


#99

I do.

You HAVE explained it better here!
Yes, everyone can improve.

I didn’t to say that there is bad writing in that people are simply what they are and they can’t change that. Arguably there are people with different aptitudes for it, but that’s a whole other conversation… lol

Again cheers. With how you’ve reexplained it I have no particular qualms. :wink:


#100

A good writer is someone who makes me jealous.

There’s not one specific quality, I just read their work and know I want mine to do that.