Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Storyteller

Hi Ed,

While I know you have the best of intentions, I think you're wrong about the use of the word "storyteller." It's more and more a perjorative especially when used by those reviewers you call both hoity and toity.

It's not that I agree with that, of course. But I do think that, in general usage, it's used in a dismissive way.

Ted Wright

Ed here:

Well, maybe so. But in that case, I have to say that I don't care. To be called a good storyteller is still a compliment to me. Raymond Chandler once said that nobody can please them all and nobody should try. Most of my audience, such as it is, is comprised, I'm sure, of genre readers. And those are the readers I write for. I quoted John D. MacDonald a few weeks ago. "I write for men who carry their lunches in pails." The example is outdated now, I suppose, but the truth of it isn't. He was talking about writing popular fiction. I get letters from cops, ministers, teachers, beauticians, factory workers, engineers, insurance salespeople, store clerks and college professors who seem to like what I do, in general anyway. They tell me I'm a "good storyteller." And I'll still take that as a high compliment anyday.

1 Comments:

Blogger Craig Clarke said...

And I, as a reader of popular genre fiction, will continue to appreciate the great storytelling skills of folks like you, Lawrence Block, and Max Allan Collins, who keep a lid on the fancy prose while giving me the opportunity to get carried away by a great narrative. Thank you.

6:01 AM  

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