The world is full of writers of all kinds: novelists, biographers, copy writers, and even floggers. Every so often, one of those writers will rise above the rest and become a great author?but what exactly does that take? Many qualities have to come together in one person to make his or her writing great, so having the idea for a story alone is not enough; great writers also have to possess talent and originality as well as the dedication required to see a story through to the end.
Anyone can tell a story, but it takes special talent to tell a story beautifully and engagingly. As a reader, my favorite stories are always the ones that draw me in with descriptive language, imagery, and metaphors used skillfully by the authors. One example is F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, which I loved reading because of Fitzgerald talent for using literary devices.
In one chapter, he describes a valley full of ashes, but instead of simply calling it what it is, Fitzgerald creates a much more interesting and inspiring description: “This is a valley of ashes?a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where she take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-gray men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air” (23).
Rather than Just telling you that the valley is full of ashes, Fitzgerald shows you with his words, creating images in your mind of a gray, ashy valley through his expert use of metaphors and similes. This mastery of figurative language is one of the most important parts of being a great writer, because it is what separates a simple story, like one that you would tell from day to day, from a literary masterpiece.