Do you think you are a good writer? Why? Have others told
you that or do you just feel it inside? Or both?
 

Who or what really determines what makes for good writing?
Is it a book award or writing contest that has the final say? Is it
professional book reviews? Acquisition editors at major book publishing houses?
A literary agent? An English professor? Other writers? Your spouse, parent,
child, or friend?
 

It seems like a subjective experience, to grade one’s art,
but I suppose if we take the totality of various metrics into consideration,
even if a bit arbitrary, the community can substantiate if a book is crap or
very good.
 

Writing does not exist in a vacuum. We can compare one book
to another, but because the average American reads so few books in a given year
— and there are 7,500 newly minted books every day — how is anyone to judge?
 

Even the most aggressive book reviewers couldn’t read any
more than a few hundred books per year, which is about the number of new books
released in just the next hour. 
 

I think what we know better is bad writing. It lacks syntax
and punctuation. It is too long or boring. It just offers a plot to nowhere.
Characters are dull. The dialogue is not believable. It just does little for
us.
 

Good writing should: 

* Force us to feel something

* Utilize the level of vocabulary, jargon, dialect, or slang
needed for authenticity

* Inspire us

* Be descriptive, accurate, and have a personality

* Entertain us

* Make us question or get us thinking

* Expand our imagination

* Introduce new concepts or show established ideas in a new
light

* Expose us to unfamiliar experiences

* Make us not want to put it down

* Should stand on its own, without context or explanation 

Of course, good writing is linked to the genre in which it
exists in. I can’t complain that a horror story doesn’t make me laugh or that
an erotic short story is not philosophical enough. I don’t expect illustrations
in a business parable but I do in a book about fashion or in a children’s book.
We need to judge on the standards we expect or demand from a particular genre.
 

Good writing can paint a visual for us. It can get us to
explore with our senses. 
 

Can you taste the thick, dark chocolate enveloping
ripened strawberries?
 

Can you hear the fast-moving, clickety-clackety,
12-car train roar past the vacant country side, only outdone by the echoes of
lost Indian tribes that used to roam these lands until hate and greed wiped
them away?
 

Can you feel the nurturing warmth of a tropical
island sun that bathes your winter-shielded skin that until now was covered in
layers of snow-protective, wool sweaters?
 

Can you see the stunning view of clear-blue mountain
skies that protect a vast, yet hidden patch of Earth, nestled between untouched
woodlands to the north, and a stone-filled, cold river whose powerful current
seals off the area from potential crossers?
 

The smell of rotting garbage strewn about the side
street consumed all of her faculties, making it impossible for her to
concentrate on what she really needed to focus on: How to dump her deadbeat
boyfriend. It was as if the decaying, fleshy foods mirrored the rot of her
broken heart.
 

There is no singular barometer by which to measure one’s
writing. Judging someone’s writing is likely to be based on the reader’s
perceptions, beliefs, needs, wants, knowledge, life experiences, emotional
state, and reading history. 
 

You might have enjoyed my blog or you may have legit
criticisms about it. I don’t really care. 
 

We write for ourselves and hope that others enjoy it too. To
define writing may be an arbitrary and biased process, but to generate powerful
writing, it starts with the author’s ability and desire to craft what he or she
feels will be a work of quality.

 

Need PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning
blog, with 3.6 million page views, can be reached at 
[email protected]  He is
available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their
brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of
authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!

 

About Brian
Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be
followed on
www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. This is
copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now
resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The
Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.8 million pageviews. With 4,900+ posts
over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by
BookBaby 
http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses,
Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres,
right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark
Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay,
Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan
RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He
hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and
has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence
College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association,
Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and
Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have
been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY
Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News
(Westchester) and The Washington
Post
. His first published book was The Florida homeowner, Condo, &
Co-Op Association Handbook
.  It was featured
in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.