Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

25 quotes from authors on writing...

Please enjoy as I procrastinate on writing anything of my own on this blog and, instead, focus all my energy on completing Underground Guy for NaNoWriMo...

Marilynne Robinson: “Beauty,” Writing, What Storytelling Can Learn from Science, and the Splendors of Uncertainty
“We are part of a mystery, a splendid mystery within which we must attempt to orient ourselves if we are to have a sense of our own nature.” (Dunno if I want that...)
Stephen King: Writing and the Art of “Creative Sleep”:
“In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.” (Can't tell the difference, sometimes)
Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing
“If it sounds like writing … rewrite it.” (My biggest woe...)
Michael Lewis: Writing, Money, and the Necessary Self-Delusion of Creativity
“When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.” (Was she talkin' to me?)
Annie Dillard on Writing
“At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you.” (Aware, am I)
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” (Still crazy after all these years)
Italo Calvino on Writing: Insights from 40+ Years of His Letters
“To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being… what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it.” (Contemplating the possibilities)
Ernest Hemingway : Writing, Knowledge, and the Danger of Ego
“All bad writers are in love with the epic.” (Was he talkin' to me?)
David Foster Wallace: Writing, Death, and Redemption
“You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness … has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me.” (Dammit)
Isabel Allende: Writing Brings Order to the Chaos of Life
“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” (Bitch makes fun of me half the time she does show)
Stephen King: The Adverb Is Not Your Friend
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.” (I try...hopefully)
Malcolm Cowley: The Four Stages of Writing
“The germ of a story is a new and simple element introduced into an existing situation or mood.” (Screenwriting helps, here)
Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing
“Work on one thing at a time until finished.” (Good luck with that...)
Kurt Vonnegut: 8 Rules for a Great Story
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” (I can see it...)
Susan Orlean on Writing
“You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.” (Daily, if not hourly)
Zadie Smith: 10 Rules of Writing
“Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.” (Oh, thanks...)
John Steinbeck: 6 Tips on Writing, and a Disclaimer
“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish.” (God, is this true...)
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Secret of Great Writing (1938)
“Nothing any good isn’t hard.” (Knowing this already, thank you...)
“Writing is not an exercise in excision, it’s a journey into sound.” (Liking this...)
Ray Bradbury: Creative Purpose in the Face of Rejection
“The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so.” (Tell me about it...)
Mary Karr: The Magnetism and Madness of the Written Word
“Be willing to be a child and be the Lilliputian in the world of Gulliver.” (Not sure what she means)
Kurt Vonnegut: How to Write With Style and the 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word (1985)
“The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not.” (Yepper)
“However thoroughly we lose ourselves in the vortex of our invention, we inhabit a corporeal world.” (Speak for yourself)
H. P. Lovecraft: Advice to Aspiring Writers (1920)
“A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe’s will impress upon the mind a more vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry chapters of a bulky textbook.” (I concur...except I don't know who Addison is...)
Henry Miller: Reflections on Writing
“Understanding is not a piercing of the mystery, but an acceptance of it, a living blissfully with it, in it, through and by it.” (Story of my life)

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