Wednesday, December 4, 2013

on writing - short stories - william goyen

For what is worth to those who want to write stories or simply to know
something of one writer's insight in the writing of short fiction, I have
felt the short-story form as some vitality, some force that begins (and
not necessarily at the beginning), grows in force, reaches a point beyond
which it cannot go without losing force, loses force and declines; stops.

For me, story telling is a rhythm, a charged movement, a chain of pulses
or meters. To write out of life is to catch, in pace, this pulse that beats
in the material of life. If one misses this rhythm, his story does not seem
to "work"; is mysteriously dead; seems to imitate life but has not joined
life. The story is therefore uninteresting to the reader (and truly to the
writer himself), or not clear. I believe this is a good principle to consider.

- William Goyen, The Collected Stories of William Goyen

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