I was just reading the long article in the New York Times Magazine about James Patterson. I am not yet a Patterson fan, because I don't like grueling books. However, I might try some of his other series after reading this....
The reason I'm remarking on this though, is that I do like the attitude that comes across in this article. He is very focused on the reader (as opposed to the critic or the publishing industry) and I am energized by the way he tramples limits. Kinda like a literary Jack Bauer.
While people criticize his books for being shallow, I do think the lesson of Patterson is actually a matter of taking things to another level. Go further, go deeper.
I think a lot of us 'advanced' writers who haven't published a book, or made a breakout yet, suffer from doing the right thing. You can write a story that doesn't make mistakes and does everything it's supposed to, but if that's all you do, you end up with a story that's no more than it's supposed to be.
Now... Patterson said something about abandoning pretty sentences and going all for story. I am a person who writes this way in the first place. (The most common comment I get is "Boy, this moves right along!") But since I don't write 17 books a year, I actually can do both. Because the first couple of drafts may be for story, and maybe a middle draft can be for taking the story to another level. But with each draft, I can also push the voice and language.