What often surprises me is that I'll read a novel and find myself engrossed, only to realise that, at the end, the writing was what I would consider 'flawed'. This raises some questions in my mind: is there a difference between story telling and writing a novel? If so, what is it? And which is more important: to write a good novel, or tell a great story?
E M Forster in his "Aspects of the Novel" talks about Sir Walter Scott as an author who 'has neither detachment nor passion' and, Forster wonders, if a writer is devoid of both how he can create characters who will move us deeply? He goes on to say that Scott's fame rests on his ability to tell a story; he 'had the primitive power of keeping the reader in suspense and playing on his curiosity.'
In today's world is the difference between being published versus being unpublished more to do with whether an author has the ability to tell a good story or whether he/she is able to write a good novel? And can (should) an author combine both story telling skills with the ability to write a good novel?
What do you think?