Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do – not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.
il makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.
Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.
If you find yourself imitating another writer, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially if you are a young or a new writer. However, you should be conscious of exactly how you are imitating him – word choice, sentence structure, motifs? – and think about why you’re doing it.
Poppy Z. Brite
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
For anyone who is: just keep writing. Keep reading. If you are meant to be a writer, a storyteller, it’ll work itself out. You just keep feeding it your energy, and giving it that crucial chance to work itself out. By reading and writing.
Most beginning writers – and I was the same – are like chefs trying to cook great dishes that they’ve never tasted themselves. How can you make a great – or even an adequate – bouillabaisse if you’ve never had any? If you don’t really understand why people read mysteries – or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever – then there’s no way in the world you’re going to write one that anyone wants to publish. This is the meaning of the well-known expression “Write what you know.”
Moving around is good for creativity: the next line of dialogue that you desperately need may well be waiting in the back of the refrigerator or half a mile along your favorite walk.
Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’. Otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
C. S. Lewis
There will never be another now –
I’ll make the most of today.
There will never be another me –
I’ll make the most of myself.
If you are pointing out one of the things a story is about, then you are very probably right; if you are pointing out the only thing a story is about you are very probably wrong – even if you’re the author.
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One hasn’t become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
I write to tell stories. I believe that there a some professions in the world that will last forever: doctor or a nurse, teacher, builder and a storyteller. I write also to become myself, more so day by day. Writing is a way to shape out visible and invisible, in myself as well as in the world.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
– Ray Bradbury
I believe that in a good collaboration, the authors bring their strengths to the story; one author’s strength cancels the other author’s weakness, and back and forth it goes.
It’s tougher than Himalayan yak jerky on january. But, as any creative person will tell you, there are days when there’s absolutely nothing sweeter than creating something from nothing.
I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
If you’re a freelance writer and aren’t used to being ignored, neglected, and generally given short shrift, you must not have been in the business very long.
Poppy Z. Brite
I can’t help but to write, I have a inner need for it. If I’m not in the middle of some literary project, I’m utterly lost, unhappy and distressed. As soon as I get started, I calm down.