Beginners frequently ask experienced writers to look at their drafts and to say what the experts think. Newbies generally want experienced authors to lift their heavy doubts off them, and to tell if the beginners got any talent.
But the expert can’t do that. If the author has no skill, they’ll write like any average newbie. There can be no miracles: if one does anything for the first time, there will be nothing great in the end (don’t mix up the first published book with the first writing experience).
What is Talent?
On the very first stage, there is no talent which can be visible. What can be marked is the text itself: something goes good, something doesn’t. But nobody can predict how this author could write ten years later. So, putting marks “good” or “not good” is a complete waste of time. The lack of talent was incriminated to every writer, even to the most outstanding one.
That is why young author needs to concentrate not on seeking a Heaven’s gift inside their mind, but on the things quite common. Are they ready to write with no rest during upcoming years? Are they ready to study lots of theory, to fall down and to start from the very beginning again? If yes, then there are 80 percent of talent. The rest is genetics, accident, whatever else.
Literature talent has two components in it: technical and intellectual.
There are authors who virtuously put words into sentences, their texts are excellent. But their plots are banal, their characters are boring, and the books contain nothing but finding bugs in their own minds. Here is what we call the literature mastery that came with practice.
There are people having outstanding ideas, building bright stories, but writing on a level which can’t be called even “average”. These authors are less likely to get success than “tech-writers”, and this is because of their laziness and overconfident pride. They don’t want to perform a hard and long-term work: choosing metaphors, building a text rhythm and completing the composition. As a result, these authors rare to never come to publishing; and if they come, their books come to a shelf with dusty unmarketable writings. Readers who want to read something smart but boring are even less likely to be met then those who want to find something silly but beautiful.
In order to create a really good book, the talented author needs to unite two components of talent: technique and intellect. That is what the authors need to write with.
So, does the writer have talent? Or they don’t? It is required to look at the vector of their development, at the long-term perspective. If it shows that the writer grows upon themselves, then they have their talent (though it can dry out later). And if the author stands on the same place for a long time, or writes even worse, then there is no talent for them.