Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/224

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

THE QUESTION OF STYLE

makes him bent upon saying it in the clearest and most forceful way that he possibly can, ought to be too intent upon the task at hand to be worrying about whether he is forming a style,—whether, in other words, his brave beginnings of to-day are cornerstones in the arch of future fame.

Style is the aroma of literature, comparable to the bouquet of old wine. You cannot age a new vintage over night by any artificial process. No writer, by taking thought, can add a cubit to his height as a stylist. It is a matter of growth, and slow ripening. We have seen that what every young writer should first strive to acquire is a clear-cut idea of what he is trying to accomplish; that, secondly, he should aim at a technical skill which will enable him to build the framework of his creations, whatever their form may be, solidly and according to the proportions demanded by good art; and thirdly, that

[210]