1. United

    United Member

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    Which is better (for writing in general)--if you had to choose just ONE?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by United, Apr 8, 2016.

    If you had to choose one or the other:

    Being able to compose beautifully crafted sentences; they are witty and hart-warming, sad and beautiful. Provokes strong imagery and emotions.

    or

    Being able to storytell in a cohesive manner; the flow of your narrative is as smooth as it can get; transitions from scenes to scenes and from passage to passage are natural and make for a believable story.
     
  2. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    This one. Without question. I love stories, I grew up on stories and when I write, I want to tell people stories. Everything else is icing on the cake.
     
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  3. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    If you can write something beautiful, people will look past its use.
     
  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    I prefer beautiful sentences. Something about a beautifully constructed sentence makes me smile.
     
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  5. DueNorth

    DueNorth Senior Member

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    Hmmm? I get it that it is a fun hypothetical, but if I was really forced to choose I probably would not write. To me, as writers we must tell compelling stories if we are going to ask for the time and attention (or even $$) of readers. But to tell that story with beautifully crafted imagery that brings the reader into the scenes and the souls of our characters and leaves the reader experiencing strong emotions as they read--that is the art of story-telling. To me the two elements are inseparable. It is as though you are asking "if you had to choose, would you prefer to go without oxygen or water?" As a reader, I have little patience for a weak story and less for poor writing.
     
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  6. Wayjor Frippery

    Wayjor Frippery Contributor Contributor

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    Seconded. Except for the bit about patience. I'll huff and puff and tut-tut-tut if the writing's poor, but I'll keep on reading if the story's solid.
     
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  7. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Do we have to be really bad at the other? If not, I'd choose beautiful sentences. I feel that I'm picking up quickly on how to make my story flow well, but making really good sentences and paragraphs is still a struggle.
     
  8. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Were I forced to choose, it would be the latter.
     
  9. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    The first - if I can provoke strong emotions than the reader has got what he's paid for.
     
  10. Jeni

    Jeni Member

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    I prefer telling a great story. The pretty words are nice but if the story line sucks I lose interest quickly.
     
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  11. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    I would have to go with option 1. But it might have to go through a meat grinder considering the harsh themes and tone of my WIP. :p
     
  12. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

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    I'm better at option two... working on option one. I prefer good stories that make sense. I don't find beautiful wording to be as important in the fiction that I like to read. Just give me an author that speaks to me like he is actually talking to me and not trying to be fancy about it.
     
  13. Mocheo Timo

    Mocheo Timo Senior Member

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    I'd choose the first. Why? For two reasons:

    1) I used to have a fame for telling really long jokes which nobody laughed in the end. Well, my story did flow so that my listener never left until the end (waiting for something interesting). Reality was - nothing interesting came.

    2) I've read an unique kind of book by Dostoyevski called "The House of the Dead". The story is: [No need for spoiler alert] A man goes to prison, describes it, gets out. There is very little sequence of events, thrill, or attention-grabbing. But, it's still a fascinating book because of the writer's crafty ability to describe and to paint with words.
     
  14. Justin Phillips

    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    I prefer number 2, and am HEAVILY working on improving number one.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    If you want to sell books, the second is most important (assuming you're forced to choose one).
     
  16. Miller0700

    Miller0700 Contributor Contributor

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    The latter.
     
  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    ...imagine reading an illiterate convict's tale of escape and survival, once he masters that pencil...suppose..or facebook [hew]

    so, latter over former.
     
  18. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Banned Contributor

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    "When you draw, do you prefer using paper, or a pencil?"
     
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  19. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    What's the best answer?
     

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