I vacillated over publishing this post because when I first wrote it (several weeks ago) I knew what I had to say was kinda harsh. I know it’s anonymous and all, but my criticism is still directed at an individuals work and it makes me uncomfortable to just put it out there, but here goes: I dislike their writing.
Because the content isn’t to my taste. The flavor is off. My tastebuds say no. It might as well be sundried salmon with fly larvae sauce because I don’t like it and I’m not ingesting any more.
Does it matter?
No. Not a smattering bit. It’s just my opinion but I recognize crappy work since I’ve written plenty of my own. Sometimes it’s crap because of content, subject matter, idea, setting, etc.
When it’s crap because it’s poorly crafted? Hand over your writer’s card, you can’t be in the club anymore. I don’t care about minor things like using the Oxford comma instead of the Shatner comma. When you claim to have published work and you can’t structure a plot, construct dialogue, batter the reader with information dumps, and – well, you get the idea.
On the other hand – sometimes I don’t like someone’s writing because it doesn’t engage me. Trust me, at my age it is necessary to pluck my strings if you want my attention for more than ten seconds. Recently I read a piece of flash fiction that went on, and on, ad nauseum. It was awful. It was technically proficient but the story and setting and dialogue and characters just, er, sucked. Not to put too fine a point on it, but they were boring, trite, mundane and all-around-yucky.
Here’s the beefy meat.
I didn’t like it because of the aforementioned reasons but also because it was pedestrian. It did not entertain me. Of course it isn’t the end of the world, or even life as we know it…but doesn’t the author care? Don’t they want to put their best work out there? It may have been rushed, but even flash fiction is usually a 24 hour window of time. Maybe they got to the challenge late. I’ve done that, even slipped in a typo once to see if anyone noticed. They did.
When did mediocrity become the goal? When did settling for less-than-your-personal-best become standard? Everybody wants the A+ grade but they perform at the quality level of a C- and the work they submit shows that effort.
I don’t get it.