kaigou: this is the captain. we may experience turbulence and then explode. (3 experience turbulence)
[personal profile] kaigou
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 70

When reading/watching a story, which is the MOST painful, frustrating, or annoying for you?

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A well-written story focused on a topic/theme that you usually find boring.
5 (7.1%)

A badly-written story focused on a topic/theme that you usually find interesting.
65 (92.9%)

Date: 7 Feb 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
dancing_serpent: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancing_serpent
I am prepared to suffer through bad writing at least to a certain degree of painfulness if the topic/theme interests me, even if I hit the back button after only a chapter or so - but I wouldn't even have clicked on the well-written one with the boring topic/theme.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 09:10 am (UTC)
dancing_serpent: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dancing_serpent
Being bored is very frustrating/aggravating/annoying for me. You could say I'm more patient with bad writing than with boredom.

E. A. Waite would have been proud.

Date: 8 Feb 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
Here's the flipside: turgid writing on an interesting subject, from Marilyn Ivy's book on Japan and modernity ('Discourses of the Vanishing'):

"The attempt to represent the communally intimate through the publicity of the televisual apparatus, for example, configures the paradoxes already attendant on the reversal of the public and the private, the outside and the interior. Intimacy is stretched to cover the entire reach of all Japanese . . . what could be more intimate than the telepathies of the holonic society?"

Supplementarily to the originating essayist's obscurantist fetishicizing thesaurism, it isn't even (IMHO) an accurate statement.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
leorising: (kitteninfood)
From: [personal profile] leorising
I'm the same.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 08:53 am (UTC)
morkeleb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] morkeleb
Well-written stories aren't that rare. Unless my interest is very uncommon, I can likely find well-written stories about it rather easily. So the well-written story about stuff that doesn't interest me isn't likely to frustrate me... I'll just skip it.

If I like a theme/topic, I'm likely attached enough to it that I will find bad handling of it irritating or depressing, even if there is that possibility of going elsewhere to find a better written thing. If I like the topic I want to read as much about it as I can, so while it doesn't negate the well written stories it does give me false high expectations and then disappointment. I won't be disappointed if a topic I find boring has badly written stories, because I don't especially care about it.

I think there's also a nuance between mere "well-written" and "makes me identify with/understand at a gut level/care about things I usually wouldn't give a damn about." In that case, I might be interested in the first, but it would still be an exception to my usual reading list, something I read to take a break or merely because someone I know wants to talk about it and recommended it; it does not follow that I would be interested in other similar stories on my own.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
trickster_tree: Jesus, hand upheld, looks long-suffering; the Devil makes a Wheel of Fortune show-off gesture towards the Earth. (tempt this)
From: [personal profile] trickster_tree
I'm omnivorous, so a story focused on a theme that isn't my usual doesn't bother me much. Even if I can't slog through it, that just means it's a story for somebody else. A badly-written story on one of my favorite themes, though? I will climb up the walls. And probably still finish it, and then bitch at a very high volume about the quality.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
maat_seshat: Winged Maat sitting (Default)
From: [personal profile] maat_seshat
I will climb up the walls. And probably still finish it, and then bitch at a very high volume about the quality.

This. This is me.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
phoebe_zeitgeist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist
To a certain extent this one depends on how you define well-written and badly-written. If there are technical problems with the writing, but the use of language and/or the ideas are sufficiently interesting, I'm not sure I'd always call it badly-written: it might be that the good things about that use of language made up for the weaknesses or technical errors. And on the other side of the question, good enough writing will make up for just about any dislike or disinterest I might have in a topic -- or it will if you think of good writing as something that goes beyond technical competence.

It's like, there are many extremely competent fan writers who've been seduced by RPF, and write nicely-constructed, perfectly-punctuated romances about actors or musicians I've never heard of. I know this because periodically somebody on one of my flists recommends one in glowing terms, and in my more naive days I would occasionally read one of them. I don't do this any more, because well-written on that level isn't enough to make up for my howling disinterest in romances and celebrities, seperately or together.

But you can bet that if Jane Austen's ghost wrote one of these things I'd read it, and be grateful to have the chance. Because hers would have the good writing.

Date: 7 Feb 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
zing_och: Grace Choi from the Outsiders comic (Default)
From: [personal profile] zing_och
I feel sort of betrayed by stories that have interesting topics or maybe I should say, that hit my (narrative) kinks, yet are badly written. Whereas I can just decide if the writing in the story on the boring topic is good enough to keep reading or if I hit the back button.

It doesn't help that in most cases I'll KEEP READING that badly-written story while hating it...
Edited Date: 7 Feb 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 7 Feb 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
mongrelheart: (among the stars)
From: [personal profile] mongrelheart
I think great writing has the potential to make almost any topic interesting, even compelling. The subject of 19th century idle rich people seeking societally acceptable marriage partners sounded like a snore to me, but when I read Pride & Prejudice, I found it completely awesome.

Crappy writing about topics I'm usually interested in, though? Definitely painful and not worth it. There's so much good writing out there about topics I like, so why read the bad stuff?

Date: 7 Feb 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
hokuton_punch: (iconomicon questionable moral support)
From: [personal profile] hokuton_punch
I always thought I'd be too picky to read anything too awful, but it's turned out that if it's something relevant to my interests *cough Uchiha Itachi cough* I can put up with an *astounding* amount of bad writing...

Date: 8 Feb 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
From: [personal profile] cyphomandra
I get frustrated about well-written stories about deeply boring topics in the abstract, because so much of my local literary fiction is determined to write nicely about unpleasant characters doing nothing in particular, and deciding that it's below them to bother to have a plot. But I just avoid it, so specific books don't really frustrate me. And I'm certainly capable of enjoying badly written stuff if it's about something I'm interested in; a lot of the time that's fanfiction, and I think there that emotional connection to the characters (probably driven by fannish attachment) will carry me through a lot of problems - I think the thing that does make me bail faster than anything else is flat, on-the-nose dialogue.

I ticked the second option, though, because this is definitely more frustrating. Failure to resolve a plot well or unlikely characterisation is more likely to annoy me than actual writing style, though, although poor formatting will probably do it fastest :)