Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Which Is More Important, The Art of Writing or Its Craft?


I’ve written many times about all the bad advice for writers that’s out there… 

I’ve also written about some of the vast confusions about the purpose of writing.

But, when it comes to the Art of writing, a bit of Craft goes a long way.

And, learning the Craft of writing is more bearable if one is devoted to its Art.

Some might even say that the Art is constructed from the Craft.

And, naturally, there are those who don’t have time for either

Back in 2012, I wrote two posts about diagramming sentences (something I found intriguing and well worth learning back in my pre-college days):

Diagramming Sentences ~ A Lost Art?

What’s The “Best” Way To Learn “Proper” Grammar?

The post at the first link has some fascinating comments from the readers

But, in case you’ve never heard of this tool of the craft of writing (and, didn’t take that link up there), let me show you the diagram of the first sentence of George Orwell’s 1984 :

1984

Some folks might see that as completely confusing.

Some might say, as one of the commenters I mentioned did, “diagrams are such visual word art, a bit like the electric circuitry of language laid out on the page

Now, take a look at the diagrams for the first sentences from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice :

The Great Gatsby

Pride and Prejudice

Those three images are from an aesthetic project by the designers at Pop Chart Lab, and you can see 23 more famous first lines rendered as grammatical diagrams if you visit their post, A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels   ( plus, if you hurry, you might be able to grab {at the bottom of that last link} one of 500 signed prints of this work of Crafty Art :-)

Did you learn sentence diagramming in school?

Did you like it?

If you didn’t learn it, do you think it might be helpful?
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5 responses to “Which Is More Important, The Art of Writing or Its Craft?

  1. penpusherpen March 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I followed all the links Alexander, and now I need a lie down. my poor brain is in utter turmoil..(.now I’m trying to put that sentence in diagram form.) ;-) xx

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Dear Pen,

      Even though I’ve diagrammed many sentences, I would hesitate before I ever tried to diagram poetry :-)

      Like

      • penpusherpen March 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        :-) xx

        Like

  2. ajwrites57 March 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Alexander, I have diagrammed in English and other languages I’ve studied and found it useful albeit tedious. I do think it has value!

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Wow, aj, other languages—exemplary!

      Like

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