Craft Quote #2 – Can Writing Talent Be Taught?

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Photo: literaryfictions.com

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just like painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. – Truman Capote

Since reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood I thought I’d stick with his wonderful way with words for this week’s craft quote. Seeing this quote, I wondered whether Capote considered himself one of the writers born with a natural talent, or whether he had to read, write, and rewrite his way to perfection.

Is writing craft mostly talent or practice? Personally, I think an innate seedling of writing should be present – but just a seedling, an “ear” for words. But the bulk of craft is practice, work-shopping, having your work read by infinite writers and friends, multiple drafts, criticism, being up to your eyes in books, et cetera. How do you play with writing rules? I play it relatively safe in terms of structure. I have yet to learn all of the rules of creative writing so have not figured out how to break them, but it is always great to read stories from those who have reached this point and seeing how it works for them.

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4 thoughts on “Craft Quote #2 – Can Writing Talent Be Taught?

  1. I dont think anyone is born a writer, but the early stages of life can hugely effect how a writer turns out in terms of creativity, lexicon, style and storytelling.
    Generally a sound happy childhood and teenage years are not conducive to writin. Pretty messed up but seems to hold water.

    Liked by 2 people

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