Discussion in 'General Writing' started by colorthemap, Feb 19, 2011.
Everyone uses this term but what is your definition of it?
A lot of things, including -- in no particular order:
Showing rather than telling.
Dynamic opening scenes.
Consistent characters who aren't Mary Sues and who have solid personalities.
Lack of purple prose.
Keeping the tone throughout- i.e. a horror should be scary the whole way through, a romance should be filled with sexual tension the whole way through, etc. Otherwise readers will just skip to "the good parts."
No cop-out endings like Deux Ex Machina or "He was really just crazy" or "It was all just a dream."
Another definition is to keep readers under the preventions of suspention of disbelief A lot of my readers find that some novels are boring because the content either has no meaning or it is unrealistic. When writing a book that triggers a reader's concern for scenes that would not actually happen in real life, the writer must ensure that the reactions of the character is real (i.e The character suddently grows wings. He or she would start flying as soon as the person finds out that he or she could fly. The character would probably be scared and go to the doctor or tell thier family about it).
Another well written story is choosing the right vocabulary for your targeted audieance. A writer does not want to choose highly technical terms for a teenager, making it seem as if the book is targeted for the presidents of the country. Writing terms that requires a reader to search the word in the dictionary every ten seconds will frustrate the reader.
Original writing is another way of writing a well-written book. If a writer writes a story that deals with vampires or something alternative, it may lose originality, since there are thousands of books that involve the same theme the writer is writing about.
So basically "works" as a story.
Suspension of disbelief is also a crucial one. I should've remembered it.
Hmm... I thought "well written" was the euphemism for "bland, not exciting enough" or something. I got "well written" as critique from several agents and other people, but nobody wanted to publish it.
Well-written for me is if I start to let the outside world slide by, and become enmeshed in the story.
For me well written means the writing fit the intentions.
That means if you writing a course book on calculus, it is well written if it really helps the students learn calculus. If you writing a hard boiled, faced paced thriller, it well written if the language fits the intention of the story. If you writing erotica, it is well written if you gotten it really hot. If you write a children book aimed at ages 6-8 it well written if you balanced the language to make it just challenging enough for that age group. If you are writing a master thesis... etc.
I don't care how you do it, as long as it works with the you intentions in mind. It if takes you book where you want it, it is well written.
lol perfect I agree.
Well written seems to be used as an excuse for not being published or selling fewer copies.
Poorly written = bloody good story, that actually lots of people want to read. I am starting to take the latter as a huge compliment after my time on this board
To me well written is a story I have sat down with and not wanted to put down.
Maybe you're right, by saying it was well written they meant it was grammatically correct.
Have you looked at your story again - does it have substance - a hook - interesting or exciting characters - does it have believable dialogue and conflict - is there a shift/change of view or lifestyle. Thar's all I can think of at the moment, my seven years old grandson is pestering me to find the charger for his DS games consul. Have to go noooww!.
I think well-written means try harder! It's a back-handed complimented, really. I dont think these two words should be put together unless your aim is to make a writer feel inadequate and yourself appear condescending.
I agree with all of that, and add style to my list. I really appreciate authors who put lots of thought into how they use language.
Yes -- I love when authors have a really good mastery of how to use rhetorical devices to achieve the end they want. Active/passive voice, asyndeton/polysyndeton, parallel construction and adding impact by breaking it, those kinds of things....highly recommended, read "Elements of Style," they teach all about that.
first and foremost:
exhibiting excellent grammar and basic technical skills...
clarity, original use of words [or at least not employing a raft of trite cliches], good sentence structure, clarity, a compelling, reader-engaging/reader-friendly style and voice, effective imagery, clarity, coherence, consistency...
As long as you don't use words like "paradigm" it's well written.
1. Compelling, three-dimensional characters.
2. Realistic dialogue.
3. Discernible and imaginative description.
4. Unexpected twists and turns in plot.
5. Last but not least, a gripping scenario.
Separate names with a comma.