By Anthony S. Policastro
Ok, if you think this idea is off the wall consider this: if a programmer leaves out a single character or adds an extra character, the program will not work as intended.
Writing in essence is the same. If you don't craft your words, sentences and paragraphs properly, your intended message does not come across.
Programming is a lot easier than writing - it's exact - XYZ code tells the computer to execute a specific function. The computer does not have an opinion about the code and the code does not have several meanings.
Writing, on the other hand, is more complex. Words have different meanings for different people. The structure of a sentence or paragraph may have one meaning for one person and different meaning for another.
But if the writing has the right flow, the right words and the right structure it is like great poetry. That's why we hear statements like, "The writing works! The writing pulls you in! I just love the writing!" It is the stuff of the classics and more.
So what exactly is the right stuff - the stuff of classics, the magic of the writing? My take is that the writing communicates universal truths, truths that are common and important to all human beings. The universal appeal of these truths is so powerful that the writing lives on generation after generation, century after century.
More importantly, the writing drips with emotion. Words can stir our deepest hopes and dreams, our imaginations, our inspirations and they let us dance in the joy of the things we love.
It's not easy getting words to do all those things, but as writers we always try. So if you can get the right "programming" for your words, you will write a classic that will live on and on.
Try doing that with a computer.