What writers are good at


Mark Lawson had an interesting insight about writers and their strengths while writing about Michael Crichton after his recent death. He suggested that writers could make a living if they were good at one of three things: narrative, ideas, or prose.

Novelists can still flourish within different markets if their essential talent is storytelling (Jeffrey Archer), thinking (John Berger) or crafting sentences (John Updike), but it is exceptionally rare for an author to have the gift of all three.

Crichton, he reckoned, managed two of the three – narrative and ideas. Those who can do all three are rare – Lawson suggests that John le Carre is the best example.

The illustration is from podbean.com.


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