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There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to writing. One is the approach of education and research, as you prefer, and another says that instinct and talent are what is important. Could you elaborate? - Question/Answer Now Playing


There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to writing. One is the approach of education and research, as you prefer, and another says that instinct and talent are what is important. Could you elaborate?

Aug 17, 2011

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There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to writing. One is the approach of education and research, as you prefer, and another says that instinct and talent are what is important. Could you elaborate? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion


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eleanorbeaton: magma troubles
at Aug 17, 2011 - 1:38 PM
Having worked hard for several years to put myself through the Vesuvius School of Creativity, I concur wholeheartedly. Talent and instinct got me the bones of what I hope will one day be a good first novel, but in its current state it (and I) commit many of the sins McKee outlines. Do I wish I picked up STORY before I started writing? Yes. But have I learned a lot through making some classic mistakes? Absolutely. Attempting to master the form while rewriting is helpful and Eureka-laden. I doubt McKee's lessons would make as much sense to me were I starting out a newbie.
Bass wrote
at Aug 17, 2011 - 8:16 AM
Exactly. I have to have this discussion whenever I ask anyone for a list of works for genre research. "You should just write and see what happens, you don't want to be formulaic." And I have to respond, "If I don't know what the formula is, how can I possibly recognize if my work is formulaic or original?" Studying other works, research, is the only way to originality. Instinct isn't a magical font of talent; it's the brain repeating previously successful patterns. And sometimes, unsuccessful patterns. The mind will just do what it did before and will not be creative unless it's forced to.

A great book on creativity is A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD by Roger Von Och.

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