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Innate ability and grammar and composition go together to create an exceptional
writer. Those of you who can distinguish good musical performances (not music
itself) from great ones know that the difference is in the soul and spirit of
the musician. I have heard a great many talented young artists playing
classical music who are technically proficient to the point of perfection, but
their music still lacks something. Perhaps it is in the gestalt of the musician
that some have "it" and some don't.
I see the same thing in writing as in music. Just as a musician must have the
technical skills to perform, a writer must have the technical skills to write:
grammar, punctuation, and rhetorical concepts. This ensures that whatever the
writer composes, it will be literate, but it does not guarantee that it will be
great literature. That skill, or magic, or experience that is required to make
another weep with sadness or nod their head with recognition when reading a
passage is not learned, it is innate in some writers. It is what separates Poe
from King, Buck from Steele, and Abraham Lincoln from Kennedy.
david dubin -at- notes -dot- pw -dot- com
This has been one man's opinion, yours may vary with mileage.