Oscar Wilde said, ““Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.”
Can we apply this axiom to writing fiction? If we made it a question of style vs. substance, “style” would be the quality of the writing, and “substance” would be–what? Theme? Plot? “Meaningful life lesson”?
Clearly, looking good and dressing well makes a difference (a snooty accent helps, too).
Something to remember, then, no matter what we’re writing: even when our characters are exchanging dreadful drivel, we will fascinate our readers if we frame our dialogue well.