Friday, Jul 13, 2012

Friday Fix (Craft): Writing Fiction: Art or Craft?

I call this weekly segment of the ABCs of TopNotch Writing the Craft part of writing. But is it truly craft or art?  Let’s take a look at the basic difference.  

Craft is something you do with pre-existing materials and usually from a pre-existing pattern. For example, if you crochet baby blankets, you need yarn and crochet needles.  If you weave baskets, you need reeds and tools. 

Art, however, requires no pre-existing components.  Yes, you need a computer or a pen and paper.  And the artist needs a canvas and paint brushes.  But what they actually create—the finished product—comes out of their imaginations, not from a pattern. 

This is not to say that some crafters are not imaginative, nor that some artists do not use a pre-existing pattern, such as the painter, for example, who uses a photograph from which to do his painting.  But generally speaking, the crafter starts with something while the artist starts with nothing. 

The discussion between art and craft is a longstanding one. What do you think? Is there a difference between art and craft?  If so, what are those differences? Do you consider writing an art or a craft, or a bit of both? 

For a deeper look at this topic, you may wish to check out Moira Allen’s excellent article, “Is Writing an Art or a Craft?”


Source reference:

“Is Writing an Art or a Craft” by Moira Allen

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2 thoughts on “Friday Fix (Craft): Writing Fiction: Art or Craft?

  1. Great question, Mary Ann. I like to think about it as a little bit of both. The mechanical and editing aspects versus the brainstorming/creating process. Good writing requires use of both sides of the brain, so I think of it as both an art and a craft.

    July 13, 2012 6:41 PM

    • Thanks very much for your post, Julia! I tend to agree with you that writing is both an art and a craft. As you said, we use both sides of our brain, one side to create, the other side to edit. 🙂

      As always, I appreciate your insightful comments, Thanks again.



      July 13, 2012 7:03 PM