Isabelle Allende says writing technique, e.g. suspense, cannot be taught. The faculty at Algonkian say NONSENSE. Is Isabelle wrong? Or does she know something we don't?
Actually, she doesn't. I realize we're supposed to bow down before her god-ness... only just can't do it. She's a great writer, sure, no question, but that doesn't mean she's intellectually infallible.
Unfortunately, her viewpoint isn't unique. But who does it serve? Quite suddenly, we find ourselves face down and gasping for air in the dank pond of Iowa mantra: WRITING CANNOT BE TAUGHT.
If Iowa's mantra possessed any substance whatsoever, then why does it always take so many years for a novel author to hone their editorial skills, technique, and knowledge base, if not for the fact that they're teaching themselves and/or being taught? Apparently, writing is BEING TAUGHT quite often, and I might add, ALL OVER THE WORLD. Perhaps Isabelle and Iowa cannot communicate craft nuances to writers or engage them in a manner that is sufficiently instructive. But that does not mean the task is impossible because *they* can't or won't do it.
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