Writer’s Cyber Salon


Tell me, what are your thoughts on the following quote?

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
– Somerset Maugham

13 Comments on “Writer’s Cyber Salon”

  1. At the risk of being too literal here, it seems to me that “if you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion”, then you are clearly a writer. Whether you’ve reached and engaged your intended audience is another question to consider as well. One thing I’ve observed firsthand in writing instruction at the elementary level is how little emphasis is given to developing one’s voice. Writing requires self-confidence and self-awareness and too often students are taught to focus on the topic or format at the expense of developing one’s inner voice. The five paragraph essay is perhaps the most useless skill that students are required to perform even into college. Sorry… think I got a bit off topic, Skywalker.

    • Jeff, you’re never off topic here – as writing encompasses all subjects. And I really do think you brought up some very good points, especially about teaching. Thanks for contributing.

  2. If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.

    Thought or perhaps imagination first, writing is just a mechanical device, a tool if I may, for gathering up the parts – stories, characters, incidents, etc, with sincerity and passion. Though writing does more resemble a toolbox than just a single tool. So many different components to writing, ranging from technical to creative elements, but it still comes down to the content of story telling and the events it expresses. Editors can always help you out with the mechanics.

    On learning/teaching; some forms of writing require a more technical/methodical formats to allow for better absorption of the material being presented to an audience. An inner voice I think develops better through exploration in ones own writing rather than through a learning/teaching process, which primarily supplies you with how to recognise the parts and the mechanics to assemble ones writing. Take for example, writing music, developing an inner voice is difficult without first learning the mechanics, the different components/elements along with their various uses and capacities first. But I also acknowledge, everyone does learn differently, and perhaps there is a capacity to diversify the way learning and teaching writing expanded upon. Happy writing..

  3. I recently realized that I don’t consider myself to be a writer. I am sometimes compelled by a force I can’t explain to tell stories in writing. I only become a writer in the minds of readers who find me to be so.

  4. For me passion and sincerity are the driving forces behind writers I enjoy reading. Telling stories, creating characters and devising incidents are part of the mechanics of writing and can be taught. Passion and sincerity come from within and are unique to the individual.

  5. I suppose it depends on the audience we intend to reach and how we feel about competition. In terms of personal expression, the passion to write is critical. One might have an unfashionable style now, but it may come into fashion in the future. However, if your goal is to reach a wide audience and get paid for your writing craft, you need to understand language mechanics and also the writing voice that will pass the test with all the gatekeepers like publishers, editors, and agents. Write like Edgar Allan Poe if you want, but don’t expect to hear a lot of offers for publication in 2014.

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