Years ago, I wrote poetry, some of it not bad and some not good. I wasn't writing poetry to set myself up as a poet but to hone my use of words. The other day when I was looking through the dozens of books I have on my shelf, I found the book that I read then and practiced some of the techniques. What I learned was about rhythm and developing my writer's voice. I'll use this book to glean some of the things that inspired me back then. The book is The Poet and the Poem by Judson Jerome. In looking over the first bit of the book several things struck me that apply to both writing fiction and poetry.
One is talent. Talent is a must. The forms can be learned so can the grammar and things like that but there must be a spark of talent somewhere to cause the words to have an effect on the writer. A thought on talent. Talent can be honed. I've met writers who can tell a story but fumble with putting it on paper. There are other writers who can drown you in words. There are ways to hone these skills.
The second is practice. If one is going to write a story one has to write and often re-write. The overnight success is rare and perhaps nonexistent. There are people I know who think they can write a story but they never sit to put the words on paper or type them into the computer. There are those who write a story but who would revise their stories. Never them. Practicing is one way to hone a story and to learn the rules to go along with the talent.
A writer needs to write. Practice belongs with persistence.
Here's a quote. "The best prose is chaos threatening to become order."
And so often my stories start out chaotic and gradually become order. What about you? Do you enjoy making order out of chaos, searching for the form that best suits what you want to say?