Does The Writer or The Critic Know Best?

My first real blog post as a blogger, this stemmed from reading many other blogs I have and haven’t subscribed too. Ultimately leading me to question, does the writer or the critic know best? I’ve read blogs on ‘the importance of paragraph breaks’ or ‘how to write a novel’ etc but the majority of these bloggers are not writers themselves as much as they don’t write short stories or novels. So why is it they know best?

Call me old-fashioned but in my opinion the writer does know best. It is in our imagination and our guts that fuel every story, we put emotions into our stories that critics wouldn’t shed a tear for writing a review. As each person is an individual they have their own writing style.  So how is it that a standard can be so easily set for such a diverse scope of media? Well it is according to what sells best and these days it seems to be what is easiest for people to digest. The problem this creates for writers – like myself, is that the aim of the game is to get the reader to see what you see and in order to do that there must be a standard of imagination. To take this away would be like stripping paint off of a canvas. It saddens me that novels like ‘fifty shades of grey’ have been written to entertain popular demand and make good business, have cast a shadow over writing.

A novel that has caught my eye of late is ‘By Light Alone’ by Adam Roberts. The back reads:

‘In a world where we have been genetically engineered so that we can photosynthesise sunlight with our hair hunger is a thing of the past, food an indulgence. The poor grow their hair, the rich effect baldness and flaunt their wealth by still eating. But other hungers remain . . . The young daughter of an affluent New York family is kidnapped. The ransom demands are refused. A year later a young women arrives at the family home claiming to be their long lost daughter. She has changed so much, she has lived on light, can anyone be sure that she has come home? Adam Roberts’ new novel is yet another amazing melding of startling ideas and beautiful prose. Set in a New York of the future it nevertheless has echoes of a Fitzgeraldesque affluence and art-deco style.’

This has given me hope that if writers with fictions novels like this can still make it to ‘new best-selling fiction’ then the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet. So I will try my best to post suggestions of fiction novels to read and update my blog with my own work more regularly. I am an affluent reader and I have been writing a novel for over ten years now (Tilt). Critic or not I feel like the blogging world is quite one-sided at the moment with too many critics voicing opinions that aren’t backed from real experience and reading. I am no expert but if people care to read I will continue to write.

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2 thoughts on “Does The Writer or The Critic Know Best?

  1. I think it’s the emotional aspect of writing that makes some writers short-sighted and incapable of seeing the faults in their work. So maybe they don’t always know best. They need to hear from critics pre-publication, and either get thicker skin or try not to read reviews post-publication. Reviewers also need to understand that their review is only one opinion and perhaps not the best judge of the work. To some extent, though, I believe no review is bad publicity for an author. I’ve purchased several books because of negative reviews that piqued my interest.

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