Is Good Writing Relative?

I recently read a post at Daily Writing Tips about “good writing being a matter of opinion.” The moment I read the title, I already knew what my opinion of that statement was. So what did the guys at Daily Writing tips think about the statement?

It’s not a question that has an easy answer. Opinion is a slippery word. So is good. Some opinions are founded on facts, knowledge, and experience. Others are based on nothing better than whimsy, rebellion or ignorance.

I totally agree. Good is such a bland word, which could mean many different things, depending on the context. So I suppose we should all agree on the definition of good writing first. I also agree with what the blog post said: Good writing is grammatically correct. However, I would like to add that on top of being grammatically correct, good writing is something that can address the needs of the target audience. Good writing should be able to catch the attention of readers and sustain it as well. To illustrate this point, think about articles and papers that you have read in the past. Though many of them might have been flawless with respect to grammar, how many of them were able to catch and sustain your attention? I bet that not everything accomplished that. I still remember a lot of books that simply didn’t suit my taste. No matter how much I tried to finish them, I just couldn’t. Not that the grammar was hideous – it was the writer’s style that I couldn’t stand. So, remember, good writing is not relative. Good writing is based on solid grammar and the idea that the target audience is satisfied.

Originally posted on July 24, 2008 @ 3:26 pm