I've always believed that writing fiction can be simplified down to two elements: imagination and translation. You're capability to imagine combined with your proficiency in translating your imagination into words is what ultimately makes a piece of fiction. Yes, there's many, many, MANY sub-elements within these elements, but in a broad view I think it all boils down to those two things. Some people are vivid imaginers -- they can picture every microscopic detail of a scene in their head and can envision these images as simply or complexly as they chose. Some are talented translators -- they write with the perfect blend of words and structure, and can put their thoughts down with ease. The truly gifted writers have both, obviously, but I think there are many writers out there (myself included) who may feel that they lack somewhat in one or the other. Personally, I feel that I translate my imagination better than my imagination imagines. I see this as problematic, because one can certainly get better with the "craft" of writing with some old fashioned hard work. But can one get better at imagining? If so how? (beyond the obvious which is reading a lot).