The comment Stephen King made regarding Stephenie Meyer’s lack of writing talent has set the writing world on fire. There’s a huge debate growing about good writers versus popular writers. I do think there are many good writers who are also popular (i.e. Anne Rice, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, etc.) but there’s no doubt that a lot of trash makes it to the shelves. Just like a lot of terrible television shows have high ratings. Just like a lot of stupid movies are well received.
In agent Nathan Bransford’s blog, he revisited the King/Meyer debate and asserted that there needs to be a process of review by qualified reviewers that counts for something, and that the general reading public’s opinion should not be held on equal footing as say, Harold Bloom. He goes on to say that:
“You would not value my opinion on particle physics, nor should you, because all I know about particle physics is that wave and particle duality makes my freaking head hurt. So would you value a particle physicist’s view on books equal to a book expert’s? Have we gotten to the point where everyone’s opinion on books, no matter their expertise, background, insight, and level of literacy, should be treated with equal reverence?”
And in my quiet reflection I came to the realization that at no price would I want to write crap just to sell books. (I’m not calling Stephenie Meyer’s writing crap, by the way.) Not even to sell millions of books.