Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#223) -- Technical Proficiency in Genre Writing

As a genre (particularly pulp) writer, how important do you feel strong technical and grammatical skills are to your writing? Do you feel there is or should be a different minimum standard for pulp writers, compared to other forms of writing and literature? 

Regardless of the genre in which I write, I believe that strong technical and grammatical skills are not just important but essential to my writing. My grammar and storytelling skills are things that define me and my work to readers, both new and former, so I want to use excellence as the defining characteristic.

However, as in any writing venture or genre, the ability to tell a compelling story with strong characters is always more important than mere technical proficiency. But, for you lazy writers out there, that fact doesn't excuse you from the hard work of becoming more technically proficient at grammar and structure and storytelling.

In the old days, pulp was coming hard and fast, and because of that, some lesser quality was to be expected, but even then low quality storytelling was never the goal -- it was just a byproduct of the publishing schedule and cheap pay. Today, however, we don't have that kind of excuse. With the prices charged for both indie and best-seller trade paperbacks and ebooks, readers expect a quality product from indies to rival the best-sellers. Maybe they're spoiled, but it's okay. They demand more of us as writers, and we should live up to those demands.