the philosphy of writing

What is the underlying principle, the philosophy of writing? There are hundreds of books of ‘how to.’ How to sell your novel, how to improve your style etc. But few books scratch below the surface and tell us what’s behind writing. What is its essence? If it’s a transaction, what are the principles?
John Gardner comes closest, I think, in books such as On Becoming A Novelist or The Art of Fiction.


8 responses to “the philosphy of writing

  1. I read Ed’s blog entry asking the question What is the underlying principle, the philosophy of writing. I also read Therunwriter’s response … but neither entry tells me what it is. So, let me know. What is the underlying principle, the philosophy of writing?

    • For me, the underlying principle is communication. What is in the writer’s mind goes to my mind. To me, this is the essence, the main principle. There are no rules if you start with the idea of communication. Will my readers understand? As a side note, punctuation and grammar are only important if they further communication.

  2. Pingback: The Art of Fiction by John Gardner and Education | Story Treasury·

  3. Hi,

    Just reviewed the article that you had pinged back. I was glad to see someone is out there that is not a huge Gardner fan. I’ve found his book really not helpful for the beginner and this quote from his book supports my opinion of his ideas. Writing is a inclusive undertaking, one that needs to nourished in everyone from the beginner to the seasoned writer. Gardner’s ego gets in the way of aiding his reader to better themselves as writers. Reminds me that he is a literary snob. I know its not a mainstream opinion about his work but I want instruction from someone who makes me feel good about my efforts to improve my craft.

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