Monday, August 19, 2013

Writer's Rant

Recently, I’ve been noticing a trend that has really started to drive me crazy.  I don’t like to talk about controversial subjects, but this one has gotten to the point that I can’t keep my mouth shut.

I’ve been reading/watch a lot of hate toward Twilight.  Well, no, let me correct that, I've been reading a lot of hate toward Stephanie Meyer.   I wouldn’t call myself a fan of her works, but I have read all four books, and I found them an enjoyable escape. 

For some reason, I’ve seen authors, artists, writers take her writing and tear it down, criticizing the story, the writing, the characters, and even the author herself.  Sure, we all have different opinions, and we’re entitled to them, but I don’t understand why we as artists take it upon ourselves to tell others when their art isn’t up to par? 

If we were to compare writing to art, look at all the different forms that exist?  If Monet were to ‘critique’ Picasso’s work, would he approve of it?  Even if he were to say that it was trash, unbelievable, the work of a three-year-old, that’s not to say that there aren’t people who prefer Picasso over Monet.  Picasso is one of my favorite artists, but I also like Van Gogh, but one of my sister hates both of them.  (Something I learned after taking her to the Prada for a special Van Gogh exhibit and the Reina Sofia to see Guernica.)  

Is she entitled to her opinion?  

Of course. 

Am I entitled to mine?  

Yes.

But we don’t fight over who’s right, over which artist trumps over the others. 

So why do we do that as writers?

Just as every artist is entitled their own style, and subject, writers do as well.  If an adult horror writer were to read a MG fantasy, wouldn’t there be some aspects that he doesn’t approve of?

And yes, I know that many people state that Meyer’s writing in and of itself isn’t refined, or she uses too many adverbs, etc.  But my question is, will the reader notice that?  Who is it to say what works and does not work for a novel?  Is it our responsibilities as writers to criticize all other authors?

Meyer has done something that most writers would probably love.  She’s created a world, a story and characters so vivid that they created a small band of fanatics.  And ultimately, isn’t that the whole point of writing?  Even if a person writes something that’s considered some of the best writing by the greatest literary critics but has no audience, then does the author truly accomplish their goals?

I've also heard that they don't approve of her stories.  Are writers expected to give positive, uplifting, completely nondestructive relationships?  If so, I have to say that there are many writers who would fit into the same 'condemnation.'

Beyond that, shouldn’t we also cheer each other on?  We’re all working toward the same thing, and when someone makes it, we should be happy for them, not tear them apart.   In nursing, it’s said that nurses eat their young.  Is that true in the writing world as well?  Do writers feel threatened by upcoming new writers when they hit it big almost immediately?  Or is it that they don't think that the new author has anything to contribute until they have experience?  And what are people looking at when they say "bad writing?"  Is it the syntax?  The characterization?  The plot?

I honestly have no answers.  Do you?  Someone please explain this to me!