Renee poses a very interesting question. Art vs. Craft.
This art vs. craft conversation is a debate with a long and heated history. Renee stated that in an ideal situation, an author would have equal amounts art and mastery of craft. I somewhat agree with that statement. However, I think that a *successful* author hones that talent with mastery of craft. Some people are brilliant aural storytellers, but can’t successfully transform that story into written word. Some have all the mechanics, but can’t nail an interesting plot to save their lives. You can learn to write effectively, but talent cannot be taught. But talent without hard work still results in mediocrity. Rules serve a purpose. You learn the rules so that you can break them effectively.
Is writing fiction more of an art (an innate talent) or a craft to be mastered? Which is more important for a writer to possess- creative talent, or the ability to construct structurally competent manuscripts?
I know, the optimal answer is “both”. But from what I have observed, there is a tremendous amount of emphasis on the “Rules” of becoming a successful writer, and very little emphasis on being successfully creative, that is, creating a work of art with words. What makes a story memorable is the intangible- the premise, the plot, the characters, the theme, the imagery, and the setting of the story. The technical framework of grammar and composition, punctuation and structure, should ideally be so well done as to be invisible to the reader.
I ask this question because it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of “The Rules” of writing when…
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