Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How Do You Define "Crap?"

There was an interesting post over at J.A. Konrath's blog recently that I wanted to get your opinion on:
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/07/be-deliberate.html

He basically theorizes that when writers are deliberate... it's impossible for them to write crap.

He also states that people who leave 1 star reviews are usually dummies who aren't truly thinking about whether they are being objective or subjective.

I have my own opinions on this, but I'd love to hear yours :).  Is it possible for a deliberate writer who understands basic form stuff like proper grammar, to write True Crap?  Are 1 star reviews objective?

What do you think?

6 comments:

Bradley Convissar said...

Sure i-star reviews can be objective. Personally, I always read the 1 and 2 star reviews first because I think they are the MOST subjective. Five star reviews are generally too gushy and complete gloss over obvious faults, which are often exposed by the 1 and 2 star reviews. In fact, many 1 and 2 star reviews are written by readers who have read other books by the same author, so they can be even more objective. Let's be honest here... I have read MANY reviews of MANY Konrath books, and those reviews are generally the best because they have perspective. And many of these reviews point out things like: this book was just like his other books, just different characters and location and killer, but basically the same when it comes to plot. If you've read his other books, you don't need to read this one. Now, I have never read a Konrath book, not yet anyway, so I can not speak to the validity of these reviews, but I imagine many of them are honest and objective. And anyone can write True Crap. Anyone read any newer Dean Koontz books recently. Loved the older stuff: Watchers, Midnight, Phantoms and many others. But his newer stuff, like Relentless, the Good Guy, the Husband, My Heart Belongs To You... These books are True Crap. I hate to say it. it makes me sad to say it, but they were awful. And I know what Koontz is capable of

Cheri Schmidt said...

Really I think John Locke wrote a great post on this here: http://donovancreed.com/2011/03/bad-reviews/

Callie Kingston said...

Tastes vary. I dislike the whole review idea insofar as it tends towards evaluation rather than description. I can decide for myself if a book is crap and don't need others telling me so. Really, what's this kick we have with acting like Simon on American Idol?

Rebecca Knight said...

@Bradley I agree that reviews are worth checking out as a reader, and especially if you're already a fan of one of the authors' books :). It helps when you can hear from other fans about how it lived up to their other works, etc.

I do, however, dislike purely subjective reviews, whether they are "Hated it! Grr!" or "Loved it! Yay!" If they don't have objective reasons why they loved it or hated it, then I'm at a loss.

@Cheri--that is a seriously awesome post, and really well thought out :). I've been feeling proud lately that people either seem to love my stuff, or in the case of my alter ego, loathe it. It's 5s and 1s almost exclusively. I must be doing something right!

@Callie-- I tend to agree. I think reviews would be more helpful to me as a reader if they were based on different attributes. For instance, one score for personal taste, one for editing, one for story pacing, etc, etc. It would at least be more specific, even if it was just a basic star system :).

Michael E. Walston said...

My take on it is, if the writer was writing from the heart, with passion, then what they produced is not crap.

I'm aware that under my definition The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis probably wouldn't be considered crap, but I don't have a problem with that...

Michael E. Walston said...

Anyway, you can judge for yourself...

http://ansible.co.uk/misc/eyeargon.html