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I’ve always wondered if writing is an art. I know it is a craft, but is it also an art?

One reason why I wonder is because art is considered something that we create. That would mean creating characters, their world and their conflicts, would be an art, right?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Image via Wikimedia Commons

But when we think of the word, “artist”, many think of a painter, dancer or musician. I get the impression writers are further down the list of potential artists.

According to Merriam-Webster, an artist is:

  • one who professes and practices an imaginative art, or a person skilled in the fine arts.

Hmm. While telling a story is certainly imaginative art, it is not considered a fine art. Poetry maybe, but not fiction.

However, there’s this second definition by Merriam-Webster:

  • one who is adept at something

So, in this way, if the writer is very good, writing can be an art.

But what is art, really?

It has so many definitions, not including the usual painting and dancing. Small talk is called an art. Coming up with a skillful plan is too, so is learning to assemble furniture. So, art altogether is being very skilled at something.

But can a writer be lumped in with the sculptors and clothing designers? Perhaps. Some stories require great imagination. I would say J.K. Rowling is more of an artist than Jodi Piccoult because she created a world not at all like ours. We don’t have magic or a boarding school for magic, with paintings talking to us. Jodi Piccoult’s worlds are much like ours.

However, to make your readers feel the emotion of your characters – that can be an art. I’ve always thought being artsy meant pouring your thoughts and feelings into your creation. So if we’re pouring those aspects into our stories, or expressing the feelings of our characters, that certainly sounds artistic to me.

 

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