Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is Good Writing Enough?

On online writers workshops and blogs, I frequently hear wannabe writers claim that once your writing reaches a certain point, you will get published. (This is assuming, of course, that you are submitting your work for publication. You can be the greatest writer the world has ever seen but still not get published if you never submit your work to a publisher.) The idea seems to make sense: learn proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, how to plot and other story mechanics. Surely once you are proficient at these aspects of writing, you will get published.

Unfortunately, this idea is a myth. Good writing will get you out of the slush pile, but it doesn't guarantee that the well-written article, story, or whatever will be published.

Author Carol Berg at DeepGenre wrote a post on Does the Cream Always Rise to the Top? addressing this myth, why it's not true, and how to be one of those who does eventually be published.

Agent Jessica Faust on her Bookends blog also discusses Is Good Writing Really Enough? but the focus is on why readers (and thus publishers and agents) pick up a book. Is it because of the good writing or something else?

No comments: