Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Timeless Question

It's not "Where do we go when we die?" or "What is the meaning of life?" or "What came first: the chicken or the egg?"

No, I'm talking about "What's more important: a great idea or great execution?"

I'm going to say both.

The Idea
This is the plot. The life of the story. Without a great plot you're left with 100,000 words of rambling. The characters wouldn't be faced with many challenges, there wouldn't be a lot of tension, and readers won't be interested in the story. A great idea is the first thing that comes. The plot of the final draft might be slightly different than that of the "Eureka!" moment, but without it there wouldn't be a final draft.

The Execution
This is the skeleton of the story. Without great writing, the idea won't shine through and no one will be able to muddle through the writing to see how awesome your plot is. Think of the idea is an uncut diamond and the writing as the cutting and polishing. The diamond was beautiful before, but it isn't truly gorgeous until it has been cut to perfection.