Writers build up worlds, make them real, emphasise and illumi-nate them through images. Through voices they hold our attention, remind us of the varying tones of speech. Through stories told and heard they show the way our thoughts are shaped by narrative, how we shape the thoughts and lives of others and ourselves. From among the features by which we identify writing as an art form, in this first chapter I have selected four that produce a consistently powerful impact for writers and readers. These are voice, world, image and story. Without these elements our practice as writers would become disadvantaged. Creative language would not be as it is, neither would we read with the special attention and pleasure it generates.