In my opinion, there are two types of writers:
- good story tellers, who focus on the story, not the writing
- good writers, who focus on the writing.
Good writers are good readers. One must read often, preferably of good writers, to pick up ideas and perhaps some rhythm. I don't recall who it was, but someone said that good writers write one word at a time: I believe this is why it takes Morrison years to put a book together: her writing is exceptional. Individuals who can crank out a book a week may be good storytellers, but they hardly (in my opinion) come close to the level of these great authors.
p.s., I'm listening to The Idiot because (a) I've owned the book for more than 20 years and haven't made an progress, (b) subscribe to Audible.com, which provides me a book a month, and (c) I'd much rather listen to a book being skillfully narrated than the drivel one often hears on the radio.