Jan 24, 2020, 9:12 PM
Writing is a craft. Craft is a process of developing skills through trial and error. You can read say, Vonnegut on writing, Campbell on the monomyth, the basics of plot types, archetypes, points of view, how to research on locations, observe and write dialog by people from different social strata, and writing backgrounds for your characters. You can read (real) poetry (particularly Shakespeare) to learn the art of sentence building. But the start-middle-end of composing sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, and stories and weaving them together while maintaining the reader’s interest in what is yet to be revealed by you is just something you have to practice. (Good writers tend to be quite smart, have worldly experience, and have something interesting to say that’s novel at least in some context unfamiliar to the reader.) I can write an argument like no other. An exceptional essay. An adequate screenplay. A less than adequate story. And a weak novel – but it is a matter of interests. To write a novel, or a story you need to have something to say that’s vaguely interesting, adequate interest in the subject, and adequate skill in the craft, and more than adequate art in retaining the reader’s attention.