My Greatest Satisfaction

My greatest satisfaction is to think of a story and write it as I want to see it in my mind’s eye.” [Somerset Maugham]

Maugham has an uncanny ability to both shock the reader and put them at ease at the same time—what I call “comfort in conflict.”

It intrigues me that Maugham could visualize his stories, then put that vision onto paper to share with others; something that even well-known authors fail to do. I remember scanning a small library aboard a cruise ship and finally choosing a Dan Brown novel. After a few chapters I was ready to throw it overboard because it was too fanciful. Although I finished the book, I decided to never read Dan Brown again. Yet, I was thankful to Dan Brown for helping me decide to never write a novel that was saturated with conjecture and full of impossibilities. For the record, I am not a fan of Maugham, but admire his concise writing. He never wastes words (see my previous post) and, therefore, gets through “a lot” in a few pages, taking the reader on an adventure. This, for Maugham, was the perfect formula for his short stories. Let me finish with a crisp Maugham quote:

Only a mediocre person is always at his best. ”

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