Quote Originally Posted by Toto Too View Post
It seems like it would have to be one heck of a never-told-before story to overcome not being written well.
No, not at all. "Written well" is somewhat subjective, but only somewhat. People do not rave about the prose or style of Nora Roberts | J. D. Robb; she writes well, yes, and she totally gets story, but her prose is really just there to tell the story. Most reader's read Roberts to find out "what happens next."

On the other extreme, people rarely read Joyce's Ulysses out of a desire to find out "what happens next"; but readers do love how Joyce writes. There's not a whole lot of narrative lust driving Ulysses; it's one day in the life of a fairly ordinary man.

Look at a few paragraphs of books from ten or so writers. Their prose is different from each other; some is workmanlike; it gets the job done. Some perfectly captures the voice of a character(s). Some make you stop and re-read just because of the melody.