Your one talent

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loseyourname

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As someone who studied fine arts for five years and is now attempting to become a novelist, I feel compelled to respond to these charges levelled by BicycleTree (always a favorite target of mine, by the way - I love you, man).

Regarding visual art, I will begin with the process of composing a piece. Although the ability to paint or draw something sensitive to what it is in the world rather your own preconceived notions of it requires a strong right-brain influence, the composition of piece is very much a mathematical endeavor. The geometric arrangements and numbers used in groupings of objects is extremely important to the aesthetic appeal of a work of art. You might also be surprised at how much of a 'science' color schemes really are. As far as the purpose of art being only entertainment, many early cultures that had no writing have their history recorded through nothing other than visual art. In addition to oral tradition, art helped to maintain a continuity of culture. In fact, one of the primary purposes of both visual and written art throughout history has been to indoctrinate people into a culture, to teach what it means to be human and to experience the human condition. Especially in the guise of mythic writings and art, art teaches us about morality, history, and ourselves.

Regarding writing, I will comment primarily on the process of constructing a novel, since you have singled out novelists. First off, I will begin by saying that there is no such thing as having a 'talent' for novel-writing. There are many people that have a talent for using language in a beautiful and nuanced way, and there are people with great rhetorical skill. Writing a great novel requires neither of these abilities, and neither of these abilities will by themselves make you a great novelist. Crafting a compelling story and developing interesting characters with depth and transformation requires one thing - hard work. I've been working on a novel for about two months now and I haven't yet written a single page that will be published. I probably will not for at least another two months or so. First, settings need to be devised; backstories, character histories and the origins of their motivations must be concocted. A plot has to be constructed, carefully constructed to ensure not only that the story is interesting, but that each event follows logically from the last without being predictable, leading inevitably to a climax that must be the highest point of tension despite the fact that it will almost certainly be somewhat expected. One does not have a talent for crafting and constructing both a unique world and a compelling story; one has a passion for and devotion to doing so.

In fact, I will go so far as to say that many very good novelists are terrible writers. Many employ professional editors and even ghostwriters to ensure good narrative. Writing a good novel requires nothing other than the understanding of what makes a good novel and the willingness to put in the work necessary to follow that formula. That isn't to say there aren't good novels out there that are very original and break the formula, but it isn't necessary to do so to write a good, or even a great novel. The only real talents you need are a good imagination and an ability to understand how parts interact to create a whole.
 

loseyourname

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I think I should point out that the OP asked what talent people would like to have. It seems everyone is just reading the title of the thread and posting what talents they already have. Personally, one talent I do have, but would like to have much more of, is the ability to throw a devastating breaking ball for a strike consistently.
 
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This is an interesting thread.

If i could chose my talent, i would like to be a new Mozart, being able to compose devine music. Or i would like to be a great actor like Marlon Brando.

I do not wish for a mathematical supertalent because i already have that :blushing: :uhh:

marlon
 
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Smurf said:
My talent is learning. If I want to be able to do something I just concentrate and figure it out. Thats the problem with people today, no one concentrates.
I guess the rest of us will just have to depend on you to take up the slack, then.
 

GCT

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I chose a musical talent, playing the piano, partly because I thought it would be the most beneficial and appreciated talent of all.

Mathematical/logical talent, objectively speaking, is probably the most important factor in maintaining our current societies' way of life as it is related to healthcare, technology, economy and other important/basic aspects of our current U.S. culture.

But in my "heart" I admire the musical/piano talent much more than I do the mathematical talent, and I would rather be a natural at the former than the latter. There's a certain aspect of moderation about the latter, and I think that it is partly related to ambitious motivation. That is, as some people might say, the musical talent is ascribed as more of a "gift from the god's" or God, than the mathematical talent and thus it is a more "specialized" gift.
 
I know how to please women.

If i had one talent, it would be to be as athletic as MJ.

I want to pursue a career in science, and mathamatics.. but i also like sports.
 
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BicycleTree said:
All arts and humanities are mere recreation. I wouldn't call them "fun and games."
Not true. Esthetics in design surround every aspect of your life. Art can be found in paint color; automobiles style; furniture style; architecture; and I don't care what it is you are reading (yes even math or science book), if it is poorly written, you will quickly tire of reading it.

BicycleTree said:
The goal of enjoyment is a different kind of goal from the goals you make when trying to figure something out. When you try to figure something out, you start with your goal and you compare the steps you take to that goal, and alter course appropriately. The goal of recreation has nothing like that seriousness and determination of purpose; to the extent it can be said to be followed, it is followed... well, recreationally.
I've never been a big proponent of "Art-for-art's sake." My art always has a goal. I've never been absorbed in recreation (which I consider my study of the sciences by the way) to the same degree that I have been when creating a work of art. Some examples of my study of sciences are learning the physics of a telescope so I could build one for fun, or learning electronics so I could build an amplifier for my guitar, or learning how a computer works so I could build one to write a novel and plays and record music. The exception for me is engineering, however, I treat that like an art by arriving at creative solutions to problems and then doing the mundane task of verifying my approach through math and science.
 

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