Writers should be crafty.
No, not that that kind of craft. I mean writers should know their craft.
Many times writers tend to think that “reporters” have a craft, journalists have a craft, and maybe even non-fiction writers have a craft, but fiction novelists have an art.
Writers of fiction have a muse and are inspired. They follow their heart or their gut. They don’t need craft.
Writer’s craft is our foundation. Only when our foundation is solid can we be truly free to be as creative as we please.
Allow me to use the example of crochet, as pictured above. While the art may have been the colors, textures, shape, combinations chosen, the finished product wouldn’t have been possible without the craft of crochet, the learned stitches and patterns which turned thread into art.
I learned to crochet at the age of nineteen. After several years of learning stitches and patterns, I began to design my own scarves and hats. The craft of crochet had become internalized, and I found I was able to imagine a piece and create it.
Writers’ craft is vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. We use words to perform magic and transport readers from words and sentences to other worlds, our worlds. The mind has the incredible ability to turn words into pictures, and sentences into technicolor movies.
The more schooled the writer is in his craft, the better the movie and the more real the world.
Our goal as writers should be to create a world so real that the reader takes a bit of it with him when the book is finished. When we read a novel that real, we feel as if we were there, living the story, knowing the characters, having the adventures, and the book almost seems more memory than observation.
Were we able to have the experience because the writer was so creative? Of course. However, we couldn’t have made the journey if the writer hadn’t had the vehicle of craft to take us there.
If you’re an aspiring writer, learn your craft.
If you’re a published author, hone your skills.
Study the language and how it works. Learn the rules. Add to your vocabulary. Read well-written novels and literature. Observe the techniques of the masters.
Be the best vehicle you can be for your muse. Your art will thrive.
Onward and upward,