metacool Thought of the Day

"Whether in music or in fiction, the most basic thing is rhythm. Your
style needs to have good, natural, steady rhythm, or people won’t keep
reading your work. I learned the importance of rhythm from music — and
mainly from jazz. Next comes melody — which, in literature, means the
appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm. If the way
the words fit the rhythm is smooth and beautiful, you can’t ask for
anything more. Next is harmony — the internal mental sounds that
support the words. Then comes the part I like best: free improvisation.
Through some special channel, the story comes welling out freely from
inside. All I have to do is get into the flow. Finally comes what may
be the most important thing: that high you experience upon completing a
work — upon ending your “performance” and feeling you have succeeded in
reaching a place that is new and meaningful. And if all goes well, you
get to share that sense of elevation with your readers (your audience).
That is a marvelous culmination that can be achieved in no other way.

Practically everything I know about writing, then, I learned from music."

Haruki Murakami