If you’re literate, and you can put your thoughts down in sentences, you are a writer. Why? Because all writing is thinking. You are not an “artist” at the “craft” of creative writing, in my humble opinion, until you realize that an entire story or novel can come from a single image, and you make it happen. It all connects because you make that happen also. And it reverberates inside the reader’s mind long after they read it. That is art.
Examples are in the thousands. William Faulkner, for example, saw a girl’s dirty britches as she climbed a tree in rural Mississippi. “Caddy” (Candace Compson) is that little girl. She is the image and character that ties the entire novel The Sound and the Fury together.
Today, I read novels and stories that have zero “Caddys” or images that tie everything together so that it reverberates in my reader mind. Today, I constantly read stories and novels that are like action-packed Frankenstein stories. Constantly moving, constantly creating details and dialogue that only advances action and does not tie ANYTHING together in an interesting and artistic way. Little or no character reflection is allowed. Little or no thematic or deeper purpose can be seen, much less analyzed and reflected upon by a thinking reader.
Sorry, but that’s my opinion. I simply stop reading stories that don’t have a connecting purpose that is “illustrated” by the use of deep characters, a noble theme, and an interesting way of crafting the scene so that it also connects with the connecting purpose and overall image.
Of course, it takes years of reading and analyzing literature to be able to do this well. You don’t wake-up one morning and say “I think I’ll write a novel in 30 days!” All I need is to have action and cool twists of that action. Nope. It’s quite a bit more than that.