Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Only Tools We Have

After I had read a story by Alice Munro that did so many things well, I sat for a long time and wondered why the story had not worked for me. Then I recalled these words from Joanna Russ:

Only the preservative of style can make things not only enter people's heads and hearts, but stay there.

[Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1979.]

Whether I like this or not, I have to agree. Words are the only tools we have to bring our stories to life, and how we the use the words, how we choose them for accuracy, order them for clarity, and place them for impact, is not icing on the cake; it is the cake.

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