As an author, I felt the need to school people on the difference between a good writer and a good storyteller. They may not seem much different at first but once you're done reading this, you'll be able to spot the difference. A lot of people get writers and storytellers confused. Yes, storytellers do write but that doesn't necessarily make them a "writer". Let me explain:
First off, let's start with writers! Writers are known as the people who can put a bunch of fancy words together and make it sound as if it's the most beautiful thing you've ever heard/read. A writer has the ability to make you reminisce and cause you to feel things you didn't even know was possible. A writer is a god/goddess of vocabulary. They can make almost anything sound good. For example, Maya Angelou was a writer (and an amazing on at that!). Just take a look at her body of works: I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings (that title alone!), Phenomenal Woman, And Still I Rise, etc. These are all examples of what a writer does. Her poetry didn't only create images but it made you feel a certain way. Writers are all about conveying feelings and bringing up emotions within the reader.
Now, onto storytellers! Storytellers are exactly what their title states. They tell stories! Usually, good ones. They don't necessarily need the fancy description or words to go with it. They just want the image of what they are trying to say to clearly pop inside of your mind. Usually, storytellers are simple creatures. They want their words to play out like a movie in your mind. Sure, they use metaphors and similes just like writers do but that's not their main focus. Their main focus is to capture your attention and keep it! They want you to fall in love with their story and they give you the same feeling as watching your favorite TV series or movie. While storytellers can be good writers (and vice versa), their main concern is keeping their audience interested. They live for juicy plots and twists and epic endings! For example, Stephenie Meyer is a good storyteller. Say what you want about Twilight but the books had everyone enwrapped in a supernatural romance from book one to book four. In fact, it played out so well in most people's minds that they had to turn the saga into a series of movies. This folks, is what storytellers do! They create something from a little nothing in their heads.
In some cases, someone can be both a writer and a storyteller. There are always exceptions to the rule. Some people have the ability to turn their writer switch on and off while maintaining their storyteller title. This usually (in my opinion) are the best kinds. You get a little bit of both in the mix...basically the best of both worlds. There are some storytellers who love to get fancy and emotional with their writing every once in a while. They collide both the storytelling world and the writer's world. Nicholas Sparks and John Green sometimes do this with their pieces (i.e. The Notebook, The Fault In Our Stars). The books may not be the most amazing things ever written but they convey emotion and feeling (like writers!) and they tell a good story (like storytellers!).
So now that I explained that to you, I'm hoping you take what you learned and apply it the next time you read a novel or a poem or any piece of writing for that matter. Before you go on and judge a person by their writing style, ask yourself 'are they a writer, storyteller, or both?' That way you can decide if the writing was any good or not. If they're a storyteller and you enjoyed the novel or story, then they did their job. If they're more of a writer and you felt a surge of emotions, then, well done to the creator. If you laughed, cried, and was entertained, then chances are that author is probably both a writer and a storyteller and they're probably pretty good at what they do.
Side Note: Writers are also people who enjoy journalism and writing facts into a story.