Friday, February 25, 2011

Writerly Types

Dwayne McDuffie died recently. Very recently. In an interview he gave not too long ago, he was quoted as saying, "Usually, when we adapt things, there's a really good hook, but there's not really a clear storyline. Or there's a really good story, but then no hook. We have to change it to make it work."

And this reminded me of something I was thinking about the other day.

It seems to me there are two kinds of writers: Those with insane imaginations, and those with an absurd gift for words. There are advantages and disadvantages to being each but I don't think one is necessarily better than the other. And sure, there's probably a bit of overlap sometimes.

But I've been thinking lately about books I've read, and fellow writers I know, and myself as I thought about imaginer v wordsmith. And, perhaps more importantly, how to cope. Because ultimately it doesn't matter how amazing your idea is if your writing falls flat, but equally you could be the next Shakespeare/Tolstoy/Joyce (okay, maybe not that last one) but if you can't come up with a good hook no one's going to want your book.

Of course, revisions can help take care of that, but it's not as simple as fixing a few sentences. It takes careful, thoughtful revision.

But beyond that, my mind has little to nothing, so let's turn this over to you. Which do you think you're better at: The idea or the execution? How do you compensate for it, if at all?

No comments:

Post a Comment