“Any work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.” ~ Joseph Conrad

I would add:  “in every word.”

I try to be conscious of every word I use, not just for its color, smell, feel and possible deeper metaphorical associations, but for its rhythm in the sentence.  Never a great student of poetry, I am a great lover of music, and I believe good prose must have movement, tone, meter — all of which envelop the reader in additional layers of meaning, giving her/him extra pleasure in the reading.  Besides, it’s more fun to write this way!

 

 

Joseph Conrad on the Art of Writing

About SSH

Philadelphia native and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell, Shaw Homer has lived in Costa Rica for over 30 years, where she has taught languages and worked for environmental NGOs. In addition to writing for the local press, her fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry have appeared in both print and on-line literary and travel journals, as well as on her blog, writingfromtheheart.net. Her travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific, received excellent Kirkus and Publishers Weekly reviews. Her most recent book is Evelio’s Garden: Memoir of a Naturalist in Costa Rica. She and all her books can be found at www.sandrashawhomer.com.

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