Joined the atouchofbadness
I've often wondered about what makes popular "bad" fiction so compelling and read, while more well-written works languish in obscurity.
So, what do you think are the fictional elements (or non-fiction? If discussing popular bad non-fiction is allowable) that will save a book from utter badness? Or which elements can be superlative, but are not enough to make a book a page-turner?
I think in general, characterization (in terms of creating memorable characters) is normally the strong point of books famous for their badness. Perhaps it's also what gets books a *fandom* as well. Many fandoms focus on the characters, but it is possible to have very well written characters who don't create fan devotion. But in writing classes, IIRC people focus on having characters who are well-rounded or complex, and who, above all, develop, which I'm not sure is the key to creating a memorable or popular characters. I remember the post in which someone complained that the series had developed the characters and their relationships, and changed them from how they were before. She would have been happy to have them as they had been at the beginning.
Plot is also another way that a book can keep people reading, despite its obvious flaws. That's how serial cliffhangers work, really. You've got to keep the reader wondering what will happen next. Coherency and avoiding howlers is not that important.
Elements that people DON'T care so much about tend to be prose, and intellectual themes.
(Maybe I should cross-post this to the comm?)