A couple days ago, Ann Lynn asked for my opinion on the difference between writing a story and crafting a story. It’s like this: just because I know how to use wood glue and C-clamps to repair a dresser drawer, doesn’t mean I can design and build a solid cherry armoire. In the same way, almost anyone can write a story, but to write a good story, you have to learn the elements of successful storytelling and how to mold your idea around them.
Like most of you, I started writing stories when I was a child, and as I grew older I wrote better stories, but now, I want to learn how to write good stories. Maybe I don’t have the talent to write publishable short stories. Learning how to use carpentry tools doesn’t guarantee me the mastery to turn out a beautiful piece of furniture. Maybe a footstool is the best I can do. So be it, but I have to find out.
I read many novels, but few short stories, so one step toward my goal will be to read more stories. Also, I read a lot about novel writing, but not so much specifically about story writing, so concurrent with the previous step, I’ll be studying the structuring of a short story, the craft work. Then I will write. Then I will submit what I’ve written. Will my stories be published? Stay tuned to find out.
Would you like to add your own thoughts about writing vs. crafting?
Photo credit: Scott Adams
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