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Listen for the music

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read
Photo by Marius Masalar / Unsplash

As a follow-up to The Calculus of Grit, this article in The New York Times from author S. Kirk Walsh caught my attention.

He talks about becoming a professional reader and learning to truly hear a writer—their rhythms, their language, their structures. Then building it into your own, whether it is “borrowing” these choices, or sitting down and copying it word for word then replacing the language with your own until understand how to naturally create your own.

I did this early on with Hemingway—too much in fact—and it took me a long time to break the habit. But I learned economy (but I still need to spend the time to rewrite it until it’s actually there).

As Walsh say: “Read deeply, steal what you can and always listen for the music.”

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash


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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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