A to Z Challenge 2013

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fluff Writing

Last night I had an article to write, and it was truly the hardest one I've ever had to do. It wasn't that the subject matter was difficult (it was on an aspect of console gaming). The problem was that the topic was what I would call "fluff", something I truly despise having to write. Initially I had taken the assignment just because we can use money right now, so I figured every little bit helps. But after the torture of trying to wring out words that have no real impact on the reader, I have decided that I just am not going to do that type of work again. I lay blame at the site that provides the contracts, not my inability to write anything worthwhile. Unfortunately, they have some rather stringent rules on what is acceptable for their articles and what is not. And in my opinion, all it does is lead to poorly designed articles filled with fluff rather than something useful that a reader would enjoy reading. I thought I could knuckle under and bear the pain, but I have decided I just can't deal with poor writing. That might be a a bit arrogant for me to say, I guess. But I pride myself on at least attempting to put out material that people would enjoy reading, because I don't like reading fluff articles myself. If I'm going to take the time to sit down and read an article, book, or whatever, the author ought to have taken the time to make it worth my time. Okay, enough of my soapboax speeches. Go back to your lives, nothing to see here.


Laura said...

I would say the majority of my job right now is fluff. I hate it. I'm doing an internship with my university's PR office, and it involves writing "pithy" little pieces on anything from a visiting professor to the big game on Saturday.

It's not hard, but it's not fun. I'm always trying to decide if I've stepped over that line from "fluffy" to "Velveeta."

I'm a fiction writer, getting her master's in English. But they're paying for my schooling and giving a small stipend besides, so bring on the cheese.

Eric said...

My hat's off to you, Laura. I'm an editor for a site (brighthub.com) in the PC gaming section in addition to my writing, and I strive earnestly to get my writers to NOT turn in fluff articles. For one thing, the gaming article sector is overflowing with fluff articles as it is, so there's no sense in adding to the refuse pile. But more than that, I really believe writers appreciate themselves and their writing more when they are challenged to be a good writer. I know from the few instances where I have managed a writer into better work, they seemed to take things in a positive way rather than annoyed by the criticism. For my own sanity however, I am going to refrain from taking fluff assignments. Its just too irritating, so I guess I can chalk that up as one of my major pet peeves.