I’d like to start this post off by stating that I love Dan Brown’s writing. I think he knows how to create a story, from a masculine POV, in ways that make me want to keep reading. And when I’m reading for pleasure, this is what I care about most.
But I read an interesting post over here, at “Michael’s” blog, on the Dystel & Goderich Literary Management Blog about Dan Brown’s alleged “bad writing.” I use the word alleged because I don’t agree Dan Brown’s writing is bad.
I know the post was written with a tongue-in-cheek tone, and I get where “Michael” was going. But I can’t help wondering how Dan Brown feels when he reads posts like this. Seriously, people must think that authors are made of cast iron. Even in fun, authors take these things to heart.
The post I’m talking about links to this article, where examples of Dan Brown’s alleged bad writing are given, and the tone isn’t as lighthearted as “Michael’s.” I think each example could be debated. But I also know there’s no way anyone can ever win when they go up against a pedantic elitist, so it’s not worth the time or effort to give out examples.
In fact, I feel safe in saying that a lot of what I read and see about what’s considered “bad writing” is written by pedantic elitists who aren’t keeping up with the way people are communicating in a general sense. When I read this blog post over at Hyperbole and a Half, and the long rant that went with it, I felt guilty and a little sad at the same time. Guilty, because I’m one of those people who often abbreviate words like “you” to “u,” when I’m texting or posting online. And that’s because, like most people my age and younger, I’m either using a tablet or a phone to post. It’s easier. It’s accepted. And it’s the way communication is moving whether we like it or not. I also felt a little sad for the blogger for not taking the way communication is changing…and always has changed…into consideration. And it has nothing to do with age. My mom is in her seventies and she texts and abbreviates all the time.
One of the reasons why I rarely comment on the style of another author’s writing is because most of the time it can be debated. And I always think, “who am I to judge?” Evidently, that’s not the case in SOME places. And even though the post about Dan Brown was lighthearted and written with a positive tone, I hope when Dan Brown reads these things he knows he’s getting the last laugh. Because there are plenty of readers like me out there, who are not elitists, who love the way he writes. But more than that, we “get” and appreciate the way communication styles change and evolve with time.
Here’s the best example I can give:
Steven Jobs came up with the infamous line for an ad:
The pedantic elitists thought it should read “Think Differently,” because it’s grammatically correct.
Steve Jobs argued that he wanted to keep it “Think Different.” Mainly because he wanted “different” to be considered a noun. And he won, the ad was a huge success, and it helped change the world.
I like to “Think Different,” too. And I don’t care what anyone else thinks.