Being a good writer is to discipline your own talent

Being a good writer is to discipline your own talent

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There is no writer without talent.” This is what Hans Tuzzi, an Italian writer and critic, affirms in his latest book How to write a crime novel…or any other novel. His essay is not a series of lectures on “how to write”, but a reflection on the power of the word, the strength of literature and Bildungsromans.

The central idea to Tuzzi’s reflection is that talent is essential. But talent must be disciplined. Every author, in fact, has his own style, but they have to study and practise in order to find the one which really belongs to them.

At the beginning of the act of writing, there is the pleasure to tell stories. In fact, literature was born in an oral form, and many writers used the oral narrator expedient to stick to the act of telling. Thus, writing was born from the pleasure to build a plot and to be able to tell it.

According to Tuzzi, some people are born with the talent to do that. Talent is a mixture of natural ability, high education and a lot of practise, since “study, curiosity, capacity to look at the world with open eyes and intellect” are as fundamental as a natural predisposition to writing.

Moreover, says Tuzzi, “every writer had been a reader”. In fact, the Italian author firmly believes that any aspiring and talented writer must work to find his own style, and to do that he should read the great authors of the past. Reading is essential. Tuzzi suggests reading both novels and essays, since it would help to mature one’s ideas thanks to the comparison with the great authors.

Last, authors should not be too self-indulgent, regret throwing away the bad pages, and take some time before reading again the work once it is finished.

In conclusion, Tuzzi’s essay wants to underline the importance of talent as a natural predisposition to writing, and, at the same time, the necessity to work hard to find the good style. Being a good writer, then, requires time, efforts and the comparison to the great authors of the past.

Hans Tuzzi, pen name of Adriano Bon, was born in Milan, Italy, in 1952. He is an Italian writer and critic. He works as a publisher and university professor at the MA in Paper and Multimedia Publishing at the University of Bologna. He has written many novels, especially crime stories, and essays. He also worked with the Italian newspapers Il Sole 24 Ore and Corriere della Sera.


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