What's the Matter?

My general style is humor, but since I’m in a good bloggy mood, I’ll change up my style and write serious for a change. Just a little though.

This post is inspired by a series of posts and book belongings I’ve come across. Authors promoting their own work, the atrocious self-pubbed books, self-publishing period, traditional publishing period, and then I came across one post that got me to cheering, “Yeah! Now that’s some good content.” Whether or not the content behind the content is as good, is another matter. It’s so not the point.

Here’s the point. → A while ago, in a presentation class, attendees were asked what constitutes a good speech. Right away my short answer was, “a good speech.” But alongside my sole constituent was… ‘The way the speaker looked. The way the speaker dressed. The speaker’s title…yes, Job Title. Good diction…’ just naming a few along that thread. I was surprised, disappointed, and exceedingly alarmed. It would have been different if the speaker was on stage to model, being judged in a fashion show. Of course this being the case, then absolutely he, or she shouldn’t wear polka dots with stripes and no socks with a coke smile if it wasn’t in the fashion manual of good style. I feel the same way about books. There’s no long way around it, content matters foremost. But then, in as far as books are concerned, like a good speech, what is good content?

In Non-fiction, good content is concise factual material based on information available to the author(s) at the time the book was written; followed up by those battalion of wordsmith officials overseeing anything from the first word, to the last, and any artifact between.

In fiction, I tend to get real squinty-eyed looking for style that projects the content, whatever the content is, and whatever the author(s) does, or doesn’t know. A flattering cover might lure me, and hefty endorsements might entice me, while splashy by-lines dancing on idyllic paper impresses me, but nothing moves me like a story that sings to me. When a story surpasses all the jingles and has etched a permanent groove in my mood…you know, surpassing the flashy covers alongside the books with the bloopers and blunders… whether traditionally published, virtually published, self-published, unpublished, published and banned, I know I have absorbed some damn good content.

Today that post I was reading really grabbed onto this point, describing the work of Amelia Gray. Never heard of the author, or her work, but as I read along, inspired by the description of Gray’s work, I started thinking how content over fluff matters in at least one other reader’s eye, too. And since I’m referencing it… I’ll link the post here. ← Now, that’s some serious stuff.