Daniel Pinkus // HOW TO WRITE A STORY

Attention:

If you are listening,

give up.

You cannot

do it. Simply put,

a story is not

to be made by someone

who doesn’t know how.

 

Why are you still here?

The ability to create a character

cannot be taught.

If you need a poem to teach

what it means to shape a person,

to breath life

into someone

and to make them so real you could touch them but you are too far away…

Then you cannot be helped.

 

Why are you so persistent?

If you need a poem to teach

what it means to

send those almost-real people on a journey,

a voyage,

a quest,

to make those almost-real people learn and grow,

then I cannot help you learn

until you have grown.

 

Why do you continue to listen?

If you need a poem

to teach what it is to

create a world that isn’t real

but is real,

to create something from nothing,

to use your imagination like you have not done since you were a child,

then I do not want to help you.

 

Cease and desist;

if you need

a poem to teach what it is to

use language,

to structure sentences,

to blur reality and fiction,

to end a chapter so perfectly that your chest swells with pride,

then you do not want me to help you.

 

Attention:

If you are still listening,

give up.

You

have learned everything.

If you wish to make a story

with characters so real you could touch them but you are too far away,

and to send those almost-real people on a journey, a voyage, a quest,

and to use your imagination like you have not done since you were a child,

and to end a chapter so perfectly that your chest swells with pride,

then stop.

Stop listening

to this poem, and

write that story.

 

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