Sunday, May 1, 2011

Education and Writing

I should be working on Through the Flames, but I had something that I wanted to talk about for a little while.

This blog entry is in response to a very brief argument I had recently with someone on the Amazon Kindle forums.

They basically said that they believed that only college graduates should be published and that anyone without the dedication to graduate from college can't have the dedication to finish a decent book.

I hope no one's surprised that I disagree with that completely.

I was amazed that anyone could believe something like that, to be completely honest.

Don't get me wrong, I am aware that someone with a Masters in English is going to be talented with the English language, but writing isn't a science. You can know the English language better than anyone alive and still be a horrible writer. Writing is an art. Novelists are artists.

Keep in mind that the other person specifically said that there was no way anyone that lacked the dedication to graduate from college could have the dedication to finish a decent book.

That makes it clear that it has nothing to do with what the person actually knows. According to that belief, someone with an associates degree in Math would be more likely to write a decent book than someone who never went to college but has been writing stories their entire lives.

As I said, I was amazed that anyone could believe something like that.

To be completely honest, I don't believe there is a correlation between College Education and Writing. I don't even believe that there is a correlation between High School Education and Writing.

As long as you know how to write a story and have a good grasp of the English language, you have the technical requirements to write. You can obtain both of those from reading. Paying attention to how professional authors do dialogue, description, and other things can teach you quite a bit.

The most important thing you need to have to be a writer, however, is creativity. You can't be an artist unless you are a little creative, after all.

With all that said, I want to make it clear that there are exceptions to what I said. The major exception is non-fiction. If you're going to write non-fiction, it would be a very good idea to study whatever it is you're writing about at a professional level.

Once again, thanks for reading.


cmcwiki said...

Hear Hear! The only thing you need as a writer is creativity and the power to pull a decent plot out of your ass.

Ryne said...

A bit more crude than I'd put it, but that's about it.

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