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What is Bad Writing? 3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand

What is Bad Writing? 3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand

We all have our own list of favorite authors. Some we have decided to keep a secret because we’re afraid of the judgment we’ll face if we say their names out loud. While your friends are making fun of people who read romance novels or light summer reads, you want to raise your hand and say, “HEY! That’s me! I read those! At least I’m reading, you jerks!” And that’s just it—at least you are reading.

In a world where we see people too busy looking down at their phones to check out their latest social feed, you’re sitting outside on your lunch break enjoying a new book. But it’s not only “cultured” readers who look forward to roasting an author they deem as insipid or impuissant. There are other prominent writers out there who have no qualms discussing the literary failings of their peers.

All Hail the King!

Stephen King is one such author who holds nothing back. A New York Times bestselling novelist, King made a name for himself with his novels Carrie, IT, and The Shining. Widely known for his work in the fantasy and horror genres, King has published 55 novels to date and won a vast number of awards for his work.

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Despite winning literary awards and having a large number of works published, does that give King the right to degrade another author’s writing? Stephen King fans are inclined to agree; he’s earned the right.” Others that think King’s writing is overwrought will decidedly answer “No, he’s a talentless hack himself.”

There are three popular-selling authors whom King has had less than complimentary remarks for, including Dean Koontz, Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson. King himself has said, “talent is cheaper than table salt. What separated the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” So what is it about the three aforementioned authors that King finds to be abhorrent?

Dean Koontz

With 14 New York Times bestsellers under his belt, it’s hard to argue against Koontz’s writing merit. Having won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition when he was only a senior in college, Koontz has gained notoriety through the years for his storytelling in the horror, thriller and suspense genres.

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Yet despite the acclaim he has received and the hundreds of millions of books he has sold, Stephen King does not count himself among Koontz fans. In an interview with USA Weekend back in 2009, King said that Koontz’s writing is “sometimes … just awful.” But why is it awful? Could it be because they write in the same genres, and are therefore in competition with each other? Who can tell.

Stephenie Meyer

Whether you’re a Stephenie Meyer fan or not, we can all agree that her work has been commercially successful. Twilight was rated as the New York Times Editor’s Choice and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

Selling more than 250 million copies, Meyer’s Twilight series about an angst 70-something vampire in love with a teenage mortal he met in a high-school science class literally captured the minds of millions. Turned into a successful film franchise not long thereafter, Twilight has cemented itself in contemporary vampire lore.

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For Stephen King however, Stephenie Meyer is not to be saluted for her writing prowess. Of Stephenie Meyer King said, “[Meyer] can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” He further compares Meyer’s work with JK Rowling to help prove his point. Though both Meyer and Rowling write fantasy, is it fair to compare the two when they do not write about the same subject matter?

James Patterson

James Patterson’s books have sold over 350 million copies worldwide and Patterson is the current Guinness World Record holder for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers. Having written novels for all age groups in various genres, Patterson has continued to challenge himself and his readers. King doesn’t see it this way.

Speaking about James Patterson, King was quoted as saying, “[Patterson is] a terrible writer [who is] very, very successful.” If you were to define writing prowess based on the number of sales, King would tell you that it means nothing. Does it matter that Patterson has sold millions of copies of his books? No. But it has to mean something, doesn’t it? If people didn’t like his writing style or storytelling devices, he wouldn’t be so successful, would he?

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Now here’s really something to think about: if the writing of these three authors is so terrible, how is it they sell so many books? How is it they have all appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list? Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but you need some kind of proof to back up an argument.

Featured photo credit: VFS Digital Design via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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