the secret of composition

I don't see the point of telling people how to write stories. That's like telling them how to be themselves. I can imagine Jack Kerouac let words roll wild and windburned out of him; Jane Austen, on the other hand, weighed and polished each one before laying it down.

As for me (although I am lesser than those two) words are out of the question. It's more like each syllable draws me a tiny bit closer to touching the beautiful, sensitive skin of the story. And the story, in response, leans away or leans closer. In this way I slowly, carefully, clothe it in sound.


  1. How refreshing to read something like this. So many people think they should learn how to write but to those who can write, it comes naturally.

    1. Well, yes and no. How you write is definitely something which must come from your individual relationship with story and with creativity. But I don't think writing as a skill necessarily comes naturally. The fundamentals of it - understanding how sentences work, how to form your own voice, how to create momentum, etc - do need to be learned and mastered if you want to have a quality product. Most writers will tell you how to do that - read mindfully, and write carefully, and grow your understanding through the mentorship of the great authors (usually the classicists). But that is different from what I was saying in my post of course. Once you have mastered language and storytelling, your process should be entirely up to you.