- Jan 22, 2008
However, as an aside, can we please be less personal in our responses to each other
One of the reasons I like this site so much is that it isn't cluttered up with edgelords trying to "have a grown-up discussion", ie an argument, like a lot of the rest of the internet.
Regarding miserable books like London Fields, I think there's a sort of sincerity that a book has to have to be really good (among other things). London Fields felt like a miserable man showing off his cleverness to me. It's the reason why The First Law trilogy doesn't quite work for me (although it is very good): its cynicism feels like a pose rather than anything sincere. This is weird, given that PG Wodehouse comedies feel sincere to me, despite them being completely silly. And The First Law works perfectly for a lot of people.
It sets up kind of personalized, bifurcated hierarchy/flow chart
Is it more the case that a book has to clear some low requirements in terms of basic writing skill, and then it quickly gets pretty subjective? I think it's very hard to pin down what works in that subconscious way, unless you're writing in a field where readers know what they like and say it a lot (friends to lovers in romance etc). But if you do get those basics covered, you can know pretty much for sure that you're not writing rubbish.