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Horrible, horrible books! : Book Discussion • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Horrible, horrible books!

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madmanx
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby madmanx » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:29 pm

Last edited by madmanx on Fri May 29, 2015 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Starchaser3000
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby Starchaser3000 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:24 pm

I think there is a difference between bad books that have questionable subject matter as opposed to just being written badly. Someone told me that the book Fight Club was the worst modern fiction book ever written. Yet that book was good enough to have a movie made out of it. Same goes for other allegedly badly written books like Twilight, Hunger Games, and probably here real soon, 50 shades of Gray will be made into a movie.

Which leads me to my next question. In recent years I have been led to believe that there are cardinal rules to having a novel get picked up by an agent and/or a reputable publisher. Such as starting your book off with a "bang" beginning, do more showing and less telling, eliminate long sentences and wordy adjectives/adverbs, and other rules I can't think of right now. Yet every so often badly written books that blatantly break these rules still find a way to huge commercial success somehow. Why is that?? :?:

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pls
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby pls » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:38 pm

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Starchaser3000
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby Starchaser3000 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:38 pm

I agree with you Pls. But if Wolfe, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Hemingway or any other early 20th century writers were writing in today's market, readers would probably be put off by their eloquent word usage anyway. I am still confused on how the more recently badly written books that somehow get movie adaptations totally contradicts popular internet conventional wisdom that fiction has to be written a certain way in order for it to be considered by mainstream publishing houses.

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mfarraday
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby mfarraday » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:45 pm

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pls
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby pls » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:07 pm

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tinachris
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby tinachris » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:20 pm

Even bad books have something going for them, sex:

In a distinguished Club in London, England, the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award was held in a ballroom rammed with a mix of literary toffs, random lowlifes and everything in between, free gin or champagne in hand. “The historic mandate of the Award is to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant pages of sexual description in the modern novel and to discourage it” so says Alexander Waugh, grandson of the novelist Evelyn, son of the late Auberon who founded the prize in 1993. “You can’t write just any old rubbish with lots of bad sex. It has to be a good book that’s rather ruined by the bad sex”. Waugh adds about the annual gathering, “We don’t just stand around and titter. We absolutely ROAR with laughter”.
This year was an historic event as it is the first time a Canadian has won the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, Nancy Huston. “You wonder how any self respecting Canadian can write so badly about sex” writes the Canadian journalist in attendance. “You think of the earnest, quietly decent country you came from, a country where literary prizes are unironic and bad sex is neither celebrated nor generally mentioned at all. You feel a pang of homesickness”.
Ms Huston is from Alberta, Canada. But then, she lives in Paris.
All in good fun.

Smileyface256
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby Smileyface256 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:16 am


tinachris
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby tinachris » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:51 pm

"....and Faulkner's fault was in his long sentences, not his choice of words."
From what I understand, Pls, Faulkner wrote in the 'stream of consciousness' style, which was brilliant, not a fault. Long sentences, yes, with no punctuation but when you think do you add a fullstop, commar etc.? No, your thoughts stream. Only when you speak do you add punctuation. No author has been able to match Faulkner's style, a man who had no formal education but won the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature amongst other awards.

jannertfol
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Re: Horrible, horrible books!

Postby jannertfol » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:40 pm


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