Saturday, October 1, 2011

Writing: Art or Skill

I’ve seen the debate before. Some argue that writing is a skill that can be taught and will improve with practice much like a trade.  Put in the time, write the prerequisite number of words, read all the right the books and you’ll arrive. You start as an apprentice work your way to journeyman and finally the day arrives when you are a master writer.

I lean to the art side of the argument. The English language has its rules, structure of a story for the most part follows certain patterns, but the finished product varies so much from author to author. I have read books that are music to my ears and observed prose that can be compared to the brush strokes on a fine painting.  My heart quickens. I feel a shiver. Those simple words I’ve known all my life suddenly take on a meaning I never before imagined.

Art or skill: what do you think?


  1. I think it's a little bit of both. Take Van Gogh for instance, he had to learn the basics of his art to do what he did. But after he learned the rules the creative part of him showed him how to break those rules and create fine pieces of art. It's the same thing with writing, I think. There has to be a spark of creativity to create a truly memorable piece of prose. Anyone can write something down, following all the rules of a grammatically correct piece. But only those blessed with that spark can create something that transcends the normal.

    Jay Krow

  2. Jay, I agree. I've seen too many beginning writers who decide to be different and break the rules in the name creativity. Now let's hope we find the spark.

  3. Both. Like visual art, anyone can learn to do it with practice. If someone wanted to and put in the time they can learn to draw from pictures or even models. They will be able to reproduce what already exists. True art is when the artists creates something that did not exist previously and makes it exist (not that they may not use models for the basic shapes, of course). The same is true for writing. Writing is art when the writer breathes life into something that did not previously exist. Just MHO anyway ;)

  4. I think writing is both skill and art. An author's artistic side creates a world, breathes life into it through characters who pop off the pages. Those characters tug at the readers heart strings, begging for recognition and a chance to show the reader they can be memorable characters that the reader will want to know more about. The experiences the character goes through will pull the reader along to feel what the character feels, taste the lemon the characters touch their tongue to, to smell the rose in the garden, to feel the excitement of a partner lightly touching their skin as those internal sexual feelings burst as the heat of the touch lingers a bit longer, creating a heated need that begs for release yet is taunted and teased.

    I love writing and creating worlds my readers want to be a part of...*wink* I love tempting my readers to dig deep, to find their own hunger and ask for what they want to quench that inner need. My worlds are not only fantasy, they can be yours for the asking. Stay in touch with your partners and get on the same page.

    Erotica is not the only genre I write in....