When we talk about quality, what does ‘quality’ mean?
What is a ‘quality product’? What is ‘quality’ in a story?
The word ‘Quality’ means: ‘an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute’ ( dictionary.com/browse/quality ).
The word ‘Quality’ comes from a Latin word that means ‘Of what sort it is.’ A ‘quality’ is something identifiable that we can recognize and define clearly.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of ‘quality’ in acoustics is: ‘the texture of a tone, dependent on its overtone content, that distinguishes it from others of the same pitch and loudness.’
And according to dictionary.com, the definition of ‘quality’ in phonetics is: ‘the tonal color, or timbre, that characterizes a particular vowel sound.’
So what does ‘product quality’ mean?
It means that the product possess all the qualities that make the product fit for a specific purpose.
What does ‘quality’ in writing mean?
It means that the writing possesses all the qualities that makes it fit for a specific purpose.
‘Quality’ in storytelling means that the storytelling possesses all the qualities that make it fit for a specific purpose.
Do you see that ‘quality’ needs to be defined based on specific purposes?
A well-written essay is not a novel manuscript. If you need a novel manuscript, how would an essay fulfil the specific requirements that a novel manuscript needs to fill?
Mushrooms are not running shoes. If you need running shoes, how would mushrooms fill the specific requirements that running shoes need to fulfil?
They may be high-quality mushrooms for a specific purpose, such as cooking them, but they won’t last long if you put your feet in them and use them like running shoes.
Quality is related to Value and Worth.
Quality is how fit or useful something is for a specific purpose.
In How To Craft a Story it says:
‘Worth’ is an objective measure. ‘Value’ is a subjective measure. Something that is not ‘worth’ much can be very valuable to a person. ‘Value’ is based on how useful a thing is to a specific person and also based on the emotional attachment that that specific person has to that thing.
The ‘thing’ may be a way of thinking, a belief, a habit, an object, etc. Everything has worth, but how valuable is a specific thing to us? Is it more valuable than something else?” — Worth and Value, Chapter 3
In story writing, one person may think that a story is a ‘quality piece of work’ while another person may think that the story has no quality. That’s because the story is being evaluated by each person based on each person’s own definition of ‘quality.’
But there are basic principles to story construction that, when used well, can help a person more easily understand and process information.
In the ‘Writing Advice’ series of posts on this website, I’m going to explain the principles of story construction and elaborate on them.
I’ll be posting videos on this website’s YouTube channel on at least two topics: Screenwriting 101, and Understanding English.
The screenwriting topic is useful for screenwriters and novelists because both screenwriting and novel writing need to use principles of good storytelling. Screenwriters and novelists may also benefit by learning principles and techniques that are employed in each of those mediums.
I’m going to start off with an interview that I did with a music expert who goes by the name Kpopalypse.
You can read that interview in the next blog post!
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