King v. Meyer Revisited

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?”

Good point.

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. 

I think.


One thought on “King v. Meyer Revisited

  1. Aaaahhhhh, this debate could, would and does go on and on, yes? Old as time–long as there’s been rationale and philosophy anyway–thus judgment…

    My point: I spent a season studying Bloom’s cannon. I was living on the Oregon Coast in sebatacle writing everyday. It was the journey-man stage of my voice-finding. I found Bloom to be a virtuoso, indeed, of opinion making. And much of it, as pointed out, was credited opinion-making, very scholarly stuff (if italics were an option here those words very scholarly would be italicized.) I, you see, come from the first thought best thought school, believer in the prime well of, if you will, ordination that we artists are capable of delivering forth as in those moments where the words seem to arrive on golden wave. This, to me, is what matters most. I think standards are (again, itilicize are) important, in fact absoloutely neccesary. Bones aren’t what breathe the body but my God what would walk it with out them? But should those bones crush the breath?

    Yikes, now that’s a terror. And that’s what Bloom started to do to me. Anyway, bones do not a whole body make.

    (Mind you, my own first round of that self-titled journey-man stage was about finding my own ego strength, too…so, timing’s everything.)

    I enjoy your thought-provoking posts my dear–and I truly, love, Love!! your cover. (ITALICIZE THAT WORD LOVE, she wrote, all in large caps to really get her poiont across–)

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