Storyteller or Stylist

Inspiration abounds.

In our creative writing class last Monday evening, this question arose:



I hadn’t really considered this before.

Was there a difference? Clearly, yes.

My google muscle got a bit more of a work out.

(The little fella is developing nicely!)

It made me question?

                                         What kind of writer did I want to be?

                                                                                     What could I convey with passion?

                                                                                                                                                        Did it matter or not?

Let’s compare.

Writer                                                                                     Storyteller

writes professionally                                                         may write professionally

loves words                                                                           loves evoking emotion

has had formal training                                                    often instinctively driven

previously from the elite educated class                    camp-fire orator

A couple of quotes on storytellers:

My father was quite the raconteur…He knew that good storytelling required not just a good story (or at least some decent comics), but also a good storytellerConstance Hale

…not that every popular book is written phenomenally well, but a popular book is doing SOMETHING very well, and it’s far more valuable to try to pinpoint what that writer is succeeding at rather than simply dismissing a book as being horribly written just because you don’t like it or just because the prose isn’t top-notch.                     Nathan Bransford

On writers:

Writing is not about words
Writing is not about stories
Writing is not about people or places
Writing is not about experiences or emotions                                                              Stan Hayward

A writer is someone for whom the art of writing is paramount — grammar, word use, punctuation, etc — and knowledge of that craft is used to record stories, be they fact or fiction, through the media of written Jo Eberhardt

So the burning question for each of us is: ‘Who am I, a writer or a storyteller?’The answer lies in one’s natural inclination. Which word is calling you? I believe that every writer has a preference. In our class many participants are poets who worship brevity, love language and seek to evoke a response in the reader. Sometimes I sit there gob smacked.

I am a storyteller.

Writers of traditionally published books have a reasonable level of proficiency. Their craft has been soundly developed and is being honed. Being a writer requires a lot of introspection:

  • ‘know thyself’
    • revel in your talents
      • stay curious, keep learning
        • identify your weaknesses
          • practice and develop
            • experiment
              • play




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