Couple Things About Writin' as I Sees It:
1) Sturdy sentences everywhere share an old-fashioned trait called Good Grammar. Whether labouring over a single lonely phrase or a big fat rollicking epic, the application of a few prissy but crucial grammar rules means you're halfway to being understood.
2) A very good and imaginative writer is able to breathe intriguing new life into the most universal of themes, ideas and feelings. Or, conversely, is able to convey the universal within the strange and unfamiliar.
3) The world's most beloved writers craft stories graced with that ineffable something extra: Molecular truth. Dryer-than-Gobi funny. Superbly calibrated restraint. The envy they inspire in more average writers is like scratching away at a bad itch: you know it's wrong but it feels good and you can't stop.
4) Regretfully most of the banal stereotypes about writers are true. Neurotic perfectionists with god complexes, that sort of thing. A very nosy people, terrible eavesdroppers. Always skulking around book-strewn yard sales. Earnest and prone to watching too many documentaries. Big liars who disappear for long stretches.
5) When they aren't all puffed up thinking they're the greatest thing since Dr. Seuss, they're morbidly fearful that, in fact, their writing stinks. Paradoxically this fear is what makes them good.
6) The worse the fear, the better the writer, generally.
7) As beauty in truth, so truth in humour.