Are Good Writers born or made?
I ask this question because it seems everyone I talk to, once they know I’m working on a novel, seems to think they, too, could write a novel. In fact, they tell me, they have a Great Idea. This Great Idea would be a best seller. You know, if they ever got around to writing it. Or writing at all.
You see, people seem to think writing is simple. Come up with a concept and write about it.
One problem? You have to…um…actually do the work. And I’m not talking about simply sitting at a computer typing away, because that’s only half the battle. There’s learning about voice, characterization, dialogue, pacing, plot, conflict, POV, the three-act-structure…I could go on and on.
On the other hand, there are writers who have studied how to write and yet can’t seem to grasp the balance of it all. Their writing is stilted. Forced. It might be they need more practice, or maybe creating a story is not one of their innate abilities (though maybe they can sink a putt that puts Tiger Woods to shame).
The truth is, sometimes writing is difficult. Even Good Writers have a tough time spending 300 or more pages with characters of their own making.
I don’t know if Good Writers are born or made, but I do know a Good Idea isn’t going anywhere if you don’t spend a decent chunk of time on both learning the craft and getting your butt into a chair and writing. So my question to you is: were you born with it? Or did you have to learn it? Or a little of both?