Writing Snob

I'm a snob. I freely admit that I'm a snob and I gladly embrace my snobbery...er...snobbishness...uh... snobgobbledegook. Okay, whatever.

That's not to say I'm snooty. I don't look down on others. I don't think any less of anyone else simply because they don't agree with me or don't like the same things I like or whatever else some people look down on others for. I simply know what I like and am, admittedly, rather snobbish about it. I'm a snob in how I dress. I'm a snob in where I like to shop (be it groceries, clothes, gifts, etc.). I'm a snob in where I like to vacation - and where I stay when on vacation (ocean view, please) and am willing to pay extra, even if it means going less often.

I'm a snob when it comes to writing as well. I like works that are concise, well written and have a clear point to them. Obviously, my writing snobbery covers the simple things like spelling, basic grammar and consistent use of tense (are you speaking in the past or the present - make up your mind, please!). But it goes beyond that. I expect reasonably good sentence phrasing, clear lines of thought and, in the end, writing that conveys the message that's being (or attempting to be) delivered.

Perhaps I'm not that snobbish after all, I mean what's wrong with clear, concise writing that delivers one's message? Nothing really, as long as it doesn't get in the way of good storytelling.

As writers, we should all strive to continously improve our technical skills. That much at least should be a given. But it should never come at the expense of our craft. Our jobs as writers is to tell the story in the most engaging way possible. Clearly there must be a certain level of technical competency or the story will be unreadable, regardless of how good it may actually be. But there comes a point where spending too much time over how a certain sentence can be "phrased better" becomes counter-productive and the writing snob within becomes nothing but an old blow-hard who should be not only ignored, but summarily dismissed. I speak from experience, as I have been a victim of my own snobbishness, both in terms of my own writing (thinking too much and feeling too little) and while reading the work of others (critiquing too much and not enjoying enough).

Ultimately, it's all about telling a good story, one that draws the reader in so deeply that they feel as if they're living the story right along with the characters. Do that and snobs like me won't have anything to say when it's over except: "When is the next book coming out?"