The guy (girl) at the top would offer instruction, as well as induce the krew to go into battle (competition) with other tagging krews. Anyone who developed or showed promise of bigger, better writing, eventually became known as a writer.
in the tag world, there are various skill levels.
1- scribble or scrawl.
2- puff or bubble letters, usually 1 color.
3- puff or bubble letters with a 2 or 3 color fill.
4- monotone art, like a face or scene.
5- artwork with a 2 or 3 color fill or accent.
6- Piece (short for masterpiece), usually a layout with 5-13 color fills. Usually a stationary object like a wall. if on a moving vehicle or trailer, it's called a burner and others.
7- area of placement such as a bridge or billboard or sign high up, denotes heaven work. bigger, more elaborate or complex = more fame.
8- rolling bombs- instead of using spray cans, rollor bombs are made with a 9-inch paint roller, extension poles, and bulk paint. these tags can be 12' high, or more, and hundreds of feet long.
9- slapper wakks or decal krews. not writers per se, but spend hours redoing specific scribbles on adhesive backed labels that are affixed to any surface. a variation of this are those who scribe glass and steel with hardened pointed tools or sandpaper.
10- collaborations collabs) rival writers or krews that drop the hatchet temporarily to work out a joint piece or production.
11- production- any complex or elaborate tag or piece, including burners.
12- Toys are washouts or wannabees that have no style nor ability to place or create complex artistic pieces, just wak, or messed up stuff
It seems that the better piecers are older types, say 18 to 25, and have the best krew productions too.