Friday, May 19, 2017

For Authors, What Does 'Not Well Written' Actually Mean?



I recently had one of my tween stories given a review and that is what it said. It was not well written. But not well written compared to what? A literary masterpiece? It’s a tween story for god’s sake.

The review didn’t mention spelling, grammar, maturity, issues with the story etc, so not well written means what exactly? You could look at 100 books and none of them will be literary masterpieces. They will be written as well as the author can write it, but then that still may not be good enough for some people.

By what standards are they using? Their own? Not well written compared to their books? Their English skills? Clearly some people just expect everything to be a masterpiece. Except people don’t write like that. That’s right, NO ONE writes literary masterpieces without help. The very few books that become literary masterpieces are beaten to a bloody pulp by countless editors telling the authors what to write. So what do us mere mortal authors do? Do we write to the best of our ability and stick to that, or do we ask the reviewers to expand on their comments so we can get some idea of what they thought was wrong with it in case there actually was something wrong with it? Of course, it could just all be in their own head.

It’s a real pity there wasn’t more to the review than just, not well written.

At the end of the day what does not well written actually mean, coz I’m confused?


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