What Makes a Good Writer? 3 Factors That Define Great Writers

econtentsol Published: February 19, 2023 13 min read

Learn How to Describe a Good Writer and The Qualities We Need To Be One

Writers, like other creatives, are a dime a dozen nowadays. But just like artists, there is nothing special or great about a lot of them. For many, being an average writer is the best they may hope to be. But how is it that we can judge what makes a good writer?

Now, we agree that art is something that different people perceive differently. So the storyline that might be enjoyable for some readers may feel flat or boring to the others. So what is the benchmark that defines the personality traits of a writer who is exceptional?

Let’s find out.

What Makes a Writer a Good Writer?

The sad reality for many creatives is that only a few truly manage to reach the pinnacle of their craft, while others struggle to find that special something that sets them apart. But if you take a look at the few writers who managed to succeed in their respective niches, you’ll find that they all have a few qualities in common.

Essentially, those qualities make it easier to read and understand the narrative of those writers, which in turn helps us connect with them as readers. Because no matter how good a story, if we are unable to immerse ourselves in it, it won’t be able to elicit the kind of emotional response that the author expected.

Look at writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and many others. What is about their writings that still entrance people decades after they were published? It is qualities that enabled these authors to make their marks that make a writer great.

However, just because the authors we mentioned earlier belong to fictional genre, doesn’t mean that the same qualities do not apply to the people who write non-fiction. Patience, a creative mind, and perseverance are all qualities that even copywriters and other professional non-fiction writers need to be considered good.

That is often why you’ll see many senior and experienced writers offering their article writing services as independent contractors, rather than as part of an agency. That is because they have managed to harness the qualities needed to be great, and have used them to build a personal brand.

So now that we know that all manners of writers, whether they write or non-fiction content, have a few common traits that make them successful, let’s find out what some of these qualities are.

10 Qualities of a Good Writer – What Are They?

A draft open on laptop

There are many qualities among writers that set apart the good ones from the others. Most of them, such as patience, creativity, attention to detail, and more are those common to many different fields. But for writers, they are of tantamount importance.

Let’s take a look at the top ten qualities that can help a writer grow from being an average writer, into a good one.

Pays Attention to Details

Attention to detail is something that any professional needs, no matter what they do. From accountants to artists, paying attention to the details help perform them well. For writers, it is especially true, as writing requires a lot of steps where paying close attention pays off.

From research, to drafting, proofreading, and editing, writing requires a lot of attention. If the author fails to be attentive, they may end up losing focus, or make mistakes that could affect their narrative. Using tools such as Grammarly may help you with that, but there is no replacement for sheer attentiveness.

Values and Practices Creativity

While many writers understand what it means to be creative when writing fiction, it can be a little difficult to understand how a creative mindset can help someone write better non-fiction. Well, to make it simple, even non-fiction pieces of content need to be interesting enough to grab the attention of the reader.

That is where a non-fiction writer can use their creative prowess. For example, let’s assume that you have to create a number of marketing copywriting examples for a brand. Now, as non-fiction, your creativity can help you set your content apart from the competition by finding new and interesting ways to put your point across to the readers.

There may be other businesses who are offering the same services as you. But if your content is creative and appealing, consumers will choose you over the competition.

Takes Care to Choose the Right Words

Mess of words

Choosing the right words is necessary if you want to connect with your readers. To put it simply, if your content is targeted towards a younger audience, using words that are not part of their usual nomenclature will affect your readability.

Most of the time, the best way to go is to use the simplest words possible. That would allow a wider range of audience to read and enjoy your content easily. However, if you do have to add a word that may seem as if it would be difficult for many readers to understand, you should try to explain that word or phrase too.

Similarly, using turns of phrases that are not commonly used or native to your target market should also be avoided, to reduce the chance of confusion among readers.

Has a Desire to Learn More

A good writer is one who is always on the lookout to learn more whenever they can. They seek knowledge and skills wherever they can. For example, a fiction writer who excels at writing dete4ctive mysteries would benefit if they learned how an actual detective behaves and works in real life. Similarly, a content writer or copywriter who wants to write exceptional marketing copy for their customer, would do well if they studied their client’s industry.

This hunger for learning new things and improving themselves is what separates a good writer from the mediocre.

Is a Passionate Reader

Building on the previous quality, one of the greatest ways to learn something new is to read about them. And as a writer, reading can be one of the strongest weapons in your arsenal. For a budding fiction writer trying to improve their writing in the genre of young adult mystery fiction, reading successful pieces of work from top authors in the same genre, such as Enid Blyton, would help them improve their narrative.

Similarly, if a blogger wants to improve the quality of natural flow of their articles, they should read popular blogs from their niche to identify what their content seems to be missing.

Skilled in Their Niches of Choice

Food blogger taking images

For both fiction or non-fiction, there are many different types of content niches and types of copywriting that are created. Now, there are many who are familiar with different niches, and if push comes to shove, may even be able to create them. But for the content of highest quality, you need a writer who is an expert in their niche.

Gaining expertise in something is a simple matter of doing that task as many times as possible. That process makes you familiar with everything that could relate to that specific task. And in doing so, you will ensure that creating content within that niche is not only easy, but quicker and of a higher quality too.

Loves to Challenge Themselves

Writers, and many other creatives, often find themselves in a rut. That rut is due to doing the same kind of tasks, day after day, for weeks. And its result is a lack of motivation and will to work in those stricken with it.

That is why those writers who seek out challenges in order to avoid that rut and get their creative juices flowing, are more successful than those who are stuck in their routines. For example, let’s say you are a copywriter who excels in creating ad copy for landing pages and websites for the real estate industry. But you suddenly find a potential opportunity to create social media copy or email copy for the same industry too.

If you were to take it on, then you would not only be challenging yourself, forcing you to think outside of your comfort zone, but it will also open new avenues of experience for you.

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Is Patient with The Narrative

We often hear that patience is a virtue. And it could be no truer than it is for a writer. It can take nearly a year or more for a novel to be finished before it is sent to an editor or a publisher. During that time, a writer needs to take a step back for an objective look at the task.

Many budding writers worry that they write too slowly to keep up with their more experienced colleagues. What they fail to factor in is that it took them a long time and experience to achieve this pace of content creation.

Patience, and practice, is what’s needed for a writer to grow. If you achieve that, you will become a more level-headed content creator, one who is sure about their skill earned of hard labor.

Are Able to Express Themselves with Clarity

One of the biggest factors for you to know if you want to know what makes a good writer, is the ability to express your clearly. That means that your content should avoid fluff in writing as much as possible, in order to reduce the probability of sidetracking the reader.

Moreover, the author should have the ability of choosing simple, clear terms and phrases to convey their message to their readers. Not only would that help your consumers understand your content better, it would also be more interesting for them to read.

Have The Discipline to Work Hard

Mother working while taking care of child

One of the best things to look for when you want to know how to hire a content writer, is to look for one who has the necessary discipline to work. Creative minds tend to wander, and while it is good to get the creative juices flowing, it can also result in procrastination.

This often leads to late deliverables, which can affect your business. Therefore, a writer who is able to stick to a set routine, allowing for some leeway, will always be more successful than one who comes up with highly creative ideas, but fails to put pen to paper.

What Makes a Writer Great? 3 Factors That Describe Writers Who Are Great at Their Craft

Writer typing on laptop

Understanding what makes a good writer is necessary if you want to succeed as a writer. But there is a big difference between being good, and achieving true greatness. Most of us may love the books or article written by an author who might not be well known. And while we may love their work, we also understand why they failed to have a wider appeal.

Then there are writers who we consider “The Greats”. Guys like William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, the Bronte sisters, and many others whose works have braved the test of time to now be considered as the classics.

What is it that makes them so great, while others are merely just “good”? Let’s find out.

Factor 1 – They Drive Suspense

The ability to drive suspense properly is a quality that many writers lack. Good suspense is subtle, yet it stays there until the big reveal. A writer whose content is able to generate suspense the right way will ensure that people will be eager for their next novel or story.

Factor 2 – Create Unique Narratives in Their Heads

While professionals say that it is a bad thing to live in a world of fantasy, most writers have experienced building entire plots and outlines for our content entirely within our minds. For many however, these narratives and outlines are inspired by others, which might help us create a good story, but will lack that unique touch.

However, writers who are able to create unique and elaborate outlines have the potential to be great. A great example is that of Tolkien, who imagined the basics of the Lord of Rings and The Hobbit as bedtime stories for his son, creating a fantasy world still unmatched.

Factor 3 – They Can Extrapolate the Shortcomings Within Content Quickly

A good writer is able to create a good piece of content. A great writer, will be able to skim through it, identify its issues and shortcomings, and will have the solutions to those issues easily and quickly.

However, this does not mean that a great writer can look at any piece of content and find out what needs rectification. What makes a good writer great is that they are an expert within their niche.

Agatha Christie is a known name in young adult horror. That means she would have the ability to judge the quality of content from that genre. But within that specific genre, there would be very few who could review a manuscript as well as her.

And this is what it means to be an expert within your niche.

To Sum It Up

In short, if you want to know what makes a good writer great, you need to have a creative mind, patience, a solid work ethic, and the ability to challenge themselves. If you have these qualities, as well as the others described above, you will be able to achieve true heights of greatness.

Moreover, to become an exceptional writer, you need to have that special something that sets you apart from the many others who are considered good. But once you breach that canopy, you will be able to rise to the ranks of the greats.


What are the five elements of good writing?
To be considered as good writing, it needs to have:
– Unity of storyline
– Coherence in narrative
– Focus of narrative
– Story development
– Correctness of the facts
What is the most important element of great writing?
Character development/ story development progression is one of the most important element of great writing.
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