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  1. #1
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    Default terrible writers that you love

    There are many, the ability to tell an engrossing story is what I look for. But somehow some of my favourite storytellers are kind of irritating to my snobbish worry about style.

    I love Jayne Anne Krentz in all her incarnations, Stephan King, Laurrell K hamilton, , Jack Chalker , there are more, but a good start


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  2. #2
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    As a big Stephen King fan I wouldn't say he is a horrible writer by any means. He has an engaging style and is a great dialog writer. If he is bad style wise to you, what do you consider good?

    That being said, I admire writers for different reasons. King is one of my favorite commercial fiction writers but I also like classics (which aren't always well written) and non-fiction (which isn't always interesting) and limited amounts of poetry.


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  3. #3
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    Let's say - writers whose work is more commercial than not. I like Stephen King too and Laurell K. Hamilton's vampire series until the heroine became completely insanely So Hot Every Man In The World Wanted Her. I mean, come on, there has to be at least one man on the planet who wasn't into a short, hyper-alert Latina with a huge chip on her should and about 30 part-time boyfriends who moonlight as werewolves, strippers or the Undead. That and the Twilight thing killed my fondness for vampire stories, though (also, possibly, turning 30 helped) I like Maeve Binchy - which seems like quite the about-face, but she's Irish and the UK general fiction writers only look cute and cuddly. Nasty, ugly family battles in her books. To jump genres again - I came across the Reacher books by Lee Child last year and enjoyed them. They're apallingly violent, but somehow extremely difficult to resist. I look forward to the Tom Cruise movie.



  4. #4
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    Ah, Maeve Binchy isn't a bad writer, though she's somewhat formulaic. Her short story collections are really good.

    As a pre-teen I devoured the Mary Higgins Clark mysteries. Recently a family member gave us a stack of paperbacks and there was a Higgins-Clark in there. Jesus, she's awful. So cheesy and overdramatic.



  5. #5
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    Stephen King and Elmore Leonard. Stephen king knows how to make me turn the page because I want to know what happens next. His books are not conducive to re-reading.
    Agatha Christie I can reread, her characters are adult with complex behavior and motivation. Martha Grimes is good for one reading.
    (I re-read books, so that I am entertained but can put the book down to sleep etc. Too good a book and I resent having to sleep or work because I want to finish it.)



  6. #6
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    Jilly Cooper, Bev Pettersen I love a good story with horses in it



  7. #7
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    Stephen King is considered a good writer by writing teachers, as well as a good teacher of the trade. So I don't think you can count him even though he does write pulp .

    Mine is definitely Charlaine Harris. She is not a horrible writer; certainly not a great one, but her books are entertaining (especially the older ones).


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatmoody View Post
    Stephen King is considered a good writer by writing teachers, as well as a good teacher of the trade. So I don't think you can count him even though he does write pulp .
    Has he discovered the magic of a thesaurus? I read some of his stuff has a teen, and was really struck by how he uses the same handful of verbs over and over again ("said" being a huge favorite), small words, few adjectives/adverbs, and minimal exposition. Technically sound, but at something like 6th grade reading level. I found his work to be very 2-dimensional but, then, I really enjoy authors who can produce vivid imagery with the right words.
    ---------------------------


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBlue View Post
    Has he discovered the magic of a thesaurus? I read some of his stuff has a teen, and was really struck by how he uses the same handful of verbs over and over again ("said" being a huge favorite), small words, few adjectives/adverbs, and minimal exposition. Technically sound, but at something like 6th grade reading level. I found his work to be very 2-dimensional but, then, I really enjoy authors who can produce vivid imagery with the right words.
    Could you give me some examples of what you mean in your last line? Not about King, but examples of who you think are exceptional writers. (This is an honest question and not meant as sarcasm or any other 'tone' of voice, since it can be hard to convey intent on the internet).
    Last edited by Crackerdog; Nov. 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBlue View Post
    Has he discovered the magic of a thesaurus? I read some of his stuff has a teen, and was really struck by how he uses the same handful of verbs over and over again ("said" being a huge favorite), small words, few adjectives/adverbs, and minimal exposition. Technically sound, but at something like 6th grade reading level. I found his work to be very 2-dimensional but, then, I really enjoy authors who can produce vivid imagery with the right words.
    While I, too, love a writer that can paint a tapestry with words.....

    I credit Stephen King with getting a lot of people started reading who would not have otherwise done so. And I think his decision (I believe it was conscious) to write in style that would not be over the head of someone reading at a 6th grade level contributed to that.

    I say "Good on ya, SK!"
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


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  11. #11
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    Albert Payson Terhune. He's a horrible writer. He's also elitist and racist...but oh, how I love the stories about his collies!

    Terry Goodkind is on the cusp between a good writer and a terrible writer. I like his stories pretty well, but have skipped pages upon pages of anti-Communism soliloquies - they just bogged down the story when a few lines or paragraphs would have done the trick. On a similar note, I feel the same way about Jean Auel. She took a fascinating subject, did a ton of careful, meticulous research, and made...porn. *sigh*
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emryss View Post
    On a similar note, I feel the same way about Jean Auel. She took a fascinating subject, did a ton of careful, meticulous research, and made...porn. *sigh*
    HAHAHAHA! I thought I was the only one who thought that! I would just skip over her "love scenes."
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBlue View Post
    Has he discovered the magic of a thesaurus? I read some of his stuff has a teen, and was really struck by how he uses the same handful of verbs over and over again ("said" being a huge favorite), small words, few adjectives/adverbs, and minimal exposition. Technically sound, but at something like 6th grade reading level. I found his work to be very 2-dimensional but, then, I really enjoy authors who can produce vivid imagery with the right words.

    And yet, writers who substitute a variety of flowery synonyms to replace that small but oh-so-useful word "said" are considered to be a joke among the writing community. It's the dialogue itself that should convey the emotion and the meaning of what's being discussed. The verb tying those words to a particular speaker is merely a connector.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieB View Post
    And yet, writers who substitute a variety of flowery synonyms to replace that small but oh-so-useful word "said" are considered to be a joke among the writing community. It's the dialogue itself that should convey the emotion and the meaning of what's being discussed. The verb tying those words to a particular speaker is merely a connector.
    YES!
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  15. #15
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    How do you guys not puke while reading bad prose? Isn't it an insurmountable obstacle to whatever substance is buried in all that crap?

    Being a curious masochist, I challenge you connoisseurs to give me some examples.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #16
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    If anything I sometimes find Stephen King's imagery TOO vivid. That said, I think he went a little nuts toward the end of the Dark Tower series and I've always found his style a little overwhelmingly folksy. But I reread The Stand not that long ago and I still loved it, which isn't true of a lot of my teenage favorites.

    I always feel a little ashamed picking up the latest Anita Blake book at the library, so I'm glad now that they have self-checkout. JR Ward, too. ...I guess I have a thing for insanely hot vampires with ridiculous names!



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emryss View Post
    Terry Goodkind is on the cusp between a good writer and a terrible writer. I like his stories pretty well, but have skipped pages upon pages of anti-Communism soliloquies - they just bogged down the story when a few lines or paragraphs would have done the trick. On a similar note, I feel the same way about Jean Auel. She took a fascinating subject, did a ton of careful, meticulous research, and made...porn. *sigh*
    I'd like to kick Terry Goodkind's a$$. I was so pissed when I finished the last book. What a pathetic excuse for a writer. Clearly he lost all momentum for his story about 6 books back, and should have just quit. Obviously he wanted to milk every dollar out he possibly could. I am sorry I own all the books. I finished the third book so enthusiastic, but finished the series mad.

    What you said about Jean Auel made me laugh. So, so true.


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  18. #18
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    Speaking of odd verbs... I'm reading a story by Zane Gray on Kindle right now (hey, it was a free horse book ). And he uses some odd words as verbs fairly regularly. His favorite seems to be 'ejaculated' for when a character is upset and speaking loudly. And it makes me giggle every time



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traum View Post
    Speaking of odd verbs... I'm reading a story by Zane Gray on Kindle right now (hey, it was a free horse book ). And he uses some odd words as verbs fairly regularly. His favorite seems to be 'ejaculated' for when a character is upset and speaking loudly. And it makes me giggle every time
    That would make me laugh too.


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  20. #20
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    Oh, there's definitely a happy medium between absolute bare bones and vomiting all over the page. Neither is, to me, a fun read. I don't read a lot of popular fiction, but notice they tend to write in an approachable style like Stephen King (back in his "The Dead Zone" era of writing).

    For example, the afore-mentioned Agatha Christie wrote a fun, easy-to-read page-turner that is a bit more adult than SK. Dick Francis still writes/wrote a fun book, but his style was a bit more of the mainstream bare-bones/approachable type of writing. Staying with the Brits, I think Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are a nice balance between painting a picture and sounding like "See Pug run. Run, Pug, run!" Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayer series is, I think, well written while still being easy to read (though the latter are getting more formulaic), as opposed to almost anything by C.J. Cherryh which I find dense to the point of being unreadable.

    Sorry, I'm still trying to think of something to add for the OP! I tend to have trouble liking authors whose writing style makes me grumble at them.



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