?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Why writers should leave Dan Brown alone

As you may or may not know, there’s a link to an article called ‘Dan Brown’s worst 20 sentences’ doing the rounds. Elsewhere, someone’s posted a Reader’s Guide (as in sarcastic commentary) to his latest book, The Lost Symbol, on their journal. I checked them both out, but you won’t get a link to either of those web pages from here.  

 

Honest criticism is one thing, but these two pieces aren’t looking to be helpful, they’re designed to encourage other people to make snide remarks and join in the laughter at Dan Brown’s expense. The ‘worst twenty sentences’ article tries to dress itself up as a serious critique, but one look at the title tells you the writer’s real intention.

 

According to the list, Dan Brown’s most heinous crime was choosing to call his novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’, because, as every smart person knows, Leonardo Da Vinci, actually means ‘Leonardo of Vinci’. 

 

So what? Before the book came out, if you’d asked just about anybody in the western world if they knew who ‘Da Vinci’ was, I guarantee you the vast majority would NOT have said, “Oh, hah, hah! You poor, cretinous fool, there’s no such person as OF Vinci.”    

 

I don’t understand why some people feel the need to play this ‘Bash the successful author, because we’re so clever and he’s so stupid’ game. If you don’t like a book, by all means say so, but the moment you invite others to join in with the public mockery, you’ve crossed the line as far as I’m concerned.

 

“Yeah, but he’s a famous author,” they, and a big chunk of their followers say. “He’s not supposed to write crappy sentences.”

 

Really?   Can any of us, with hand on heart, claim that we’ve never submitted something to an agent/editor/publisher that, when we look back on it later, didn’t contain a single ill-turned phrase? I know I can’t. 

 

Along with millions of others, I read The Da Vinci Code and enjoyed it. I also read Angels & Demons (which I preferred). I’m about sixty pages into The Lost Symbol, and so far, I like that too. 

 

If the people who try to pull other writers down spent more time trying to improve their own work, and less time demonstrating their complete lack of class to the rest of the world, maybe they’d have a better chance of ending up as successful as Dan Brown one day. Of course, before that can happen, they’d need to grow up. I hope they do.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Am I being unfair? Are famous authors fair game for ridicule, or should we focus on improving our own work?

 

As for me, I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a successful writer, derided for my lack of talent.  I'm already halfway there, now all I need is a best-seller.



Site Meter


Comments

kmarkhoover
Sep. 26th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
I think the reason people like Brown or Meyer leave themselves open to such stinging ridicule and derision is because they so obviously refuse to grow AS a writer. Now, I freely admit that's just me. But I don't know any writer who isn't consciously trying to improve and grow both from a technical and a literary standpoint.

I remember something Truman Capote once said about a famous novel. His criticism was devastating. He said, to paraphrase, "That's not writing, that's typing." I have always made a conscious effort to do the former. I may not always succeed, but at least I try.

Just speaking for myself, but I can't get behind someone who doesn't even try, so, yeah, in that context they leave themselves open to derision. And I honestly don't believe it's a Snobbery vs. Popularity issue, though I know there are people who see it that way. I view it through a "Do you want to improve" lens.

But, again, that's just me. :P

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there


No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

Page Summary

Tags

Latest Month

September 2019
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Paulina Bozek