I read a blog post from an influencer in the indie industry today. He said the writing doesn’t matter. Well…not so much anyway. Really what’s important is to give the readers what they know. It’s content over form. (That pesky craft stuff is not really necessary, although watch the typos because that really irritates people.)
He then went on to explain that as long as you put in the expected tropes and clichés (with your own special twists of course) then that’s when people will want to read what you write.
(Which perhaps explains why there is so much bad fiction out there, I suppose.)
But here’s the question:
If the writing doesn’t matter then why call ourselves writers? Why don’t we call ourselves trope-ists or cliché’ists or trend-ists?
If we don’t need to care about word choice, or flow or character development or any of that bothersome ‘craft’ stuff. If the form doesn’t really matter.
If a book dashed off in a month is as good as a book written with care, then edited and revised and polished, then why are we putting in all that effort? Why are we torturing ourselves? Clearly it’s more important that we start selling our stuff. Clearly what’s important is us. And selling our crap.
Because if the writing doesn’t really matter then the reader doesn’t really matter either, right? Unless they buy our crap.
If anybody can be an author and anybody is good enough to be an author (as long as they stay on the trope train) then being a writer doesn’t mean much does it? If writing a book is no big deal, because everybody is doing it and can do it, then why should anyone care?
And if words and the craft of words (a.k.a. communication) don’t matter to writers then who will they matter to? If language and communication isn’t important to us as creators, where are we headed? Where is society headed?
It matters…yes, it does…
YES, the writing does matter.
Because the reader matters.
Because your writing isn’t all about you. It shouldn’t be anyway.
It’s all about the reader. It should be anyway.
I think so.
What do you think?