Haruki Murakami On Writing And Rhythm


“No one ever taught me how to write, and I’ve never made a study of writing techniques. So how did I learn to write? From listening to music. And what’s the most important thing in writing? It’s rhythm. No one’s going to read what you write unless it’s got rhythm. It has to have an inner rhythmic feel that propels the reader forward. You know how painful it can be to read a mechanical instruction manual. Pamphlets like that are classic examples of writing without rhythm.”

“The rhythm comes from the combination of words, the combination of the sentences and paragraphs, the pairings of hard and soft, light and heavy, balance and imbalance, the punctuation, the combination of different tones. ‘Polyrhythm’ might be the right word for it, as in music. You need a good ear to do it.”

-Haruki Murakami, Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, pp. 98-99.

4 thoughts on “Haruki Murakami On Writing And Rhythm

  1. well, I can’t post to your page from work.  So: out of all the words written about writing (and the how-to’s of it), these two compact and lovely paragraphs tell all the story we ever need know.

    thank you so much for this! jan   “All we can hope is that someone who loves us will put away our playthings tenderly.”  “And our follies and our failures, too.” Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in “Keeper of the Flame”

    Kathy Nightingale: What did you come here for anyway?Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.Kathy Nightingale: What’s good about sad?Sally Sparrow: It’s happy for deep people. And now it’s time for one last bow, just like your other selves… Eleventh’s Hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelves…

    “Books! The best weapons in the  world! Arm yourselves!” ~ Dr. Who 

    A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.  ~ Emerson, Crane & Shore  The air, a harp of myriad chords,  Intently murmured overhead.My heart grew great with unsung words:  I followed where the music led. ~ John Davidson

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s