After being criticized for his effusive writing style, fiction writer Hank Cooley of Nashville, Tennessee, was determined to pare down his flowery prose to text that was sparse, gritty, and real - and he succeeded, in a sense.
"I wound up with a blank page," said Cooley. "Nothing more sparse and real than that."
In the wake of this seeming loss of his grandiloquent tongue, Cooley decided to try his hand at writing haikus, figuring that he might, at least, be able to produce three lines.
"No go," said Cooley. "Blank slate."
It was only after refreshing by rereading some of the works of Marcel Proust that Cooley was able to recapture his flare for generous, free-flowing prose that knows no bounds.
"Brevity and rigidity may be all right for some," said Cooley, "but I can't be hemmed-in that way. Fast and loose is the writing style that works for me. I'm sticking to it."
To learn more about Cooley and his writing process, check out his memoir, The Local Train To Dreamland: The Roundabout Life of Henry David Cooley.