What does “good” mean?

6 Feb

So far, my novel is written in present tense, which I recently learned is not very common, somewhat trendy, and maybe even “wrong.”

I hadn’t really thought about it. I’ve read plenty of books, but I was too busy looking at the pictures to pay attention to the tense.

There are so many things to consider when you write fiction, aside from the actual writing. I have definitely considered the point-of-view, character back-stories, the time period, etc., etc., but I just started writing in present tense without much awareness. I guess I didn’t have a good grasp on how many novels are written in past tense. First of all, my memory is horrendous. Sometimes, I have trouble remembering what a book was about, let alone what tense it was written in. Second, I was a film major. Screenwriting is always in present tense.  I guess I don’t really have a third reason.

I was talking to my husband about this last night. He said there are always going to be things some like and others don’t. This is true, but it got me thinking. What makes you good at what you do? (Actually before that I thought, “What do you mean some people will not like my work??”) In so many fields, money comes with being “good.” Although, if someone says to you, “Bob is successful,” she typically means, “Bob makes a lot of money.” He also might have some clout or power in his given field. Does this necessarily mean he is good at what he does? You would think a writer could come up with something a little more creative than Bob…

While in this day and age, where everything is up for debate, there are still markers that measure if someone is good at something. However, when you are talking entertainment, it gets so tricky. A book can make you laugh, cry, think, escape, but whatever it does, at its core, it entertains. Judging someone’s creative work always has a little bit of an asterisk, a halfsterisk, if you will (nerd alert). While it might be based on a very qualified opinion, it’s still based on opinion.

So, what the hell am I getting at?

Basically, I just want to be able to fall asleep at night with my Pulitzer in one hand and my cold hard cash in the other.

Happy Wednesday!

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