A storyteller conveys an interesting plot.
A writer of substance explores the human condition.
So do both: be the storyteller who explores the human condition.
She looks forwards to wakes: the brush of uncomfortably formal suits on her skin; the kitchen, a pulsating heart sending food forth and then the remains flowing back; the sad smiles; and the composed ladies who only an hour or so earlier had worn tear-stained faces .from "Oleander: An Ottoman Tale" (in the anthology Dreaming of Djinn):
That way he never realised that she knew most, if not all of the house's secrets: where he kept Mama's wedding ring; the tiny shoes that Stephanos had worn; the story of Ysmine and Ysminias; the icon of Athanasios that he displayed on a whim; and his leather water pouch that was filled and emptied every two days with aniseed spirit.In terms of technical mastery (and great reads), I'd advise reading Karen Russell, Angela Carter and Joyce Carol Oates. Their prose certainly soars (for me) like a great Andean condor. I'm just a hopeful fledgling admiring their unique and rare talent from far below.