I read a blog this week written by a multi published author Kathy Carmichael where she contended that being able to conceptualize a complete story was innate. In other words, like blue eyes or red hair, you either have the natural talent to finish or you don't.
Sounds harsh, doesn't it? I mean, so many wonderful writers with great sentence structure, dialogue and ideas-and she believes that even with this if you don't have the innate ability to finish the book, you never will. Is that like will power? You're either innately thin or you're chubby. People born thin can go through life without a thought of food, while people who tend to walk by a coffee shop gain weight from smelling the fresh bakes scones.
Doesn't mean you can't be thin. Just means you have to work very, very hard at it. I get it. Who wants to do something for a living when you have to work so very hard at it. The answer to that is- a lot of people.
Here's my opinion, I believe there are two kinds of writers. No, I don't mean plotters and pantzers (ones who plot out a story and ones who write by the seat of their pants). I think this is even more fundamental as pantzers can become plotters and vice versa. I believe that fundamentally you are either a story teller or a word person. (Although some story tellers will say they got into the biz because they love words, they are only doing this to sound more intellectual. Anyone who writes six books a year is a story teller.)
Look, I'm a story teller. I admit it. I don't care if I have 100 "was" in the first 10 pages. I get caught up in character. I want to know what happens next. I want to sit in front of an audience and tell them what I see in my head-from beginning to end. I want to enthrall and entertain. I love story.
Word people love to write because they love language. They love the rules of language. They love to debate whether said should be used. What new word can they use to create fresh sparkling dialogue and captivating prose. They love prose.
I think that is what is innate- not the ability to finish what you start. Both kinds of people have their work cut out for them. Story tellers need editors to help them with their prose, repetitive words, passive language, etc. Word people need editors to help them pull away from the words and see character, conflict, what happens next.
To me, its not a matter of being born with the ability to finish or not, but more a matter of figuring out who you are and how you can use that to your advantage. So, which are you? Story teller or word lover?