What makes great writing?

Freepht via pixabay

Rich(ard) M asked for help in defining the difference between good writing and great writing.

We are writers, and we are content creators. Maybe we write fiction or poetry that is intended to be consumed but is not primarily a call to action. The best advertising copy can be great, it moves us in order to sell something. The best non-fiction can be great, both informing and inspiring. The best fiction can be great, pulling off the artist’s trick of concealing a truth within a lie. It sells the reader an idea.

I suggest that great writing hits a sweet spot that connects on different levels.

Great writing stands at the intersection between art, craft, and heart. It is an interesting story well told, that also tugs at your emotions, entices you to think differently, and lingers when the story ends. It hints at even more depth than it shows, so that you wonder what happened next. It leaves you wanting more.

It’s not so hard to hit two of the three. That’s good writing. But finding the sweet spot that embodies all three, well, that’s greatness for me. And that’s the moving target that I aim for in my own writing.

What does great writing mean for you?

Let me know in the comments, and if you liked this, please click the green heart to share it. Thank you!

an earlier version of this piece was published on 30.1.17

I work when I must, which is often. I write when I can, which is daily if I can manage it… find me at http://2squarewriting.com

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