I'm supposed to mention the qualities of a good writer or good writing, Devil Mood said when she tagged me. (I have avoided reading how she answered the meme, so as not to ruin all my chances of writing something original. Here goes...)
Firstly, I don't know how to separate the two! To me, good writing is what makes a writer great, so I guess it all comes down to the writing. I'll be real subjective here! And short. So I'll stick to books rather than poetry, or plays, even though I enjoy that too. Rufus' lyrics included...
The stories I enjoy reading ... are usually very wordy. And more often than not, quite non-sensical. When we 'had to' do the neoclassical period during my English studies, I was thrilled. Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding - and not to forget, Addison & Steele's Spectator Essays (sic!) - were all such fun to read! Shakespeare, just the same - Chaucer I adored. Naturalism moved me not one bit, however sad the stories...
Yes, yes, I've read more modern stuff too... I've even read a few classics in my time, I'm sure. But if a writer knows his way with words, he can have his way with me! (It's a metaphor!! No reason to alarm hubby.) I'm the kind of gal who stays up late to fill my fun quota some way or other; busy day at work, quarrelling kids and lots of chores? Well, when everybody (and I do mean everybody else has gone to sleep I stay up, watch fun youtube videos, chat with friends & bluddies, play online scrabble... Until I'm full up.
Few of my current favourite authors are "up there" with the Nobel prize winners (come to think of it, I do read Shakespeare - he would have had one, surely, had he not died before Nobel was born), I love people like Terry Pratchett, P.G. Wodehouse and Douglas Adams. And Lars Saabye Christensen, a Norwegian - but worth reading still. - There are only about 70,000 words in Norwegian, compared with 400,000 in English -- but he seems to know his way around them all!
I've described before I had once had a proper goosebump moment reading a book. I didn't even think the book was all that good after finishing - but that particular chapter had me enthralled. Recently, I had another of those moments, two, in fact. Reading ... Steven Gerrard's autobiography! I know, much as I love his football skills I had never thought he'd stir up such emotion through his writing... I love the guy, loved the book, the language (ok, maybe he had a little help writing? still...) -- but my chills came when he described, in much detail, a couple of games that changed completely when they least expected it. So was it really the writing that did it? Hard to tell...
So, to me good writing is stuff that makes me
b) laugh out loudc) run for a dictionary (or a number of them)
d) get the chills
e) all of the above
For more objective views on writing, try our book blog - The bluddy list of great novels. (You can even contribute.) Or go read something yourself!