Saturday, November 6, 2010


There's a thread over on the AbsoluteWrite boards about the appropriate education for a writer. Do you need a college degree? A graduate degree? There are arguments to be made on every side, and I myself have a semi-useless Master's degree in screenwriting. Okay, I'll say that what I learned at UCLA about story structure is pretty darn valuable, but the chances I'll ever be a screenwriter are vanishingly small. I just wish someone had told me that before I enrolled. And if you want to write science fiction, I'd suggest you get a solid science education somehow.

Anyway, here is the answer I gave to the original question:

"You need to be intelligent, experienced, talented, dedicated, and well-read. Of these, well-read is the rarest, dedicated is the most common, intelligent is the most important, talented is the least important, and experienced is the most interesting.

"How you get there is up to you."


Christopher P. Simmons said...

It also wouldn't hurt to steal your daughter's 8th grade English book.

Had I known all of that diagramming, those infinitives, gerunds, participles, past perfect tenses actually were necessary to ASSEMBLE a well-written sentence, I'd have paid more attention.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

I was made to diagram sentences in high school, and nobody got the better of Father Tim. In the end, what helped me most was a lot of reading and a mother who had taught English. I remember the first time I asked her how a word was spelled and she told me, rather than saying "look it up!" I stood there and stared at her in shock.