I am one of those people who never know if my writer is good and so often don't send work out. I let my fear get in the way of my writing. I read this article hoping for some support in banishing this fear (especially since I bought this magazine with the idea to enter some competitions and finally get writing). But this article just increased the fear!
It put more blocks in my head about whether or not I had what it takes to be a writer. The article just said you need to understand the basics but then "too many writers believe they have mastered the technical elements" but havn't I imagine. Then you must understand how to structure the story after mastering this list of basics. And then I guess you "should strive to improve .. basic skills and aim higher".
I was good honest advice but then it's not very helpful to those writers who are afraid. It offers no encouragement or even where you can get all this information from to master the basics etc except of course the writer of the article has conveniently written a book called 'before you write a word.'
I was always under the impression that writing is the way to learn to write. Over the years I've read a lot of writing books but never written enough. This article seems to set very high standards which means that those who are afraid their writing is not good enough will always think that.
The answer to are we there yet must me no and we never will be because how will we ever know if we have got all this right?
I did appreciate some of the advice and also agreed that some published books are quite poorly written. But I didn't find it very encouraging. The writers that have been described as 'there' are Mark Twain and Cormac McCarthy to name two. The others I've never heard of. Are they there? What about modern writers: Joanne Harris? Carlos Ruiz Zafron? Elizabeth Kostova?
Surely how good a book is, aside from the basics, is possibly a matter of opinion?
I just wondered what others thought. Are you discouraged like me?