Sunday, December 29, 2013



To mark the end of 2013, I'd like to share some of the words of wisdom I've gleaned from other writers over the year. These are random with no particular theme but I'm hoping they'll inspire (and sometimes make you smile) you the way they've inspired me!
Only bad writers think their work is really good. (Anne Enright)

Just leave out the boring parts. (Elmore Leonard)
Backstory developed early on crashes down on a story's momentum like a sumo wrestler falling on his opponent. (Donald Maas)

Every true writer, I believe, starts a new story with a troubled mind. (Pierre Burton)

Rule #5 Keep trying to top yourself.
Some years ago, my old college friend and fellow broadcaster Lister Sinclair asked: "Is writing getting easier for you?"
"No," I told him. "I'm trying to make it harder."
(Pierre Burton)

Strong characters are at the heart of great literature. Not many readers could outline the plot of The Sign of the Four, but no one has any difficulty bringing Holmes and Watson to mind. (Andrew Miller)
We live in the best time for dialogue heavy books because it's fast and we're fast. Pace sells and dialogue is pace. A reader who falls into good dialogue on the first page of your book is in your pocket. (DBC Pierre)

Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. (Margaret Atwood)

Give the work a name as quickly as possible. Own it and see it. Dickens knew Bleak House was going to be called Bleak House before he started writing it. The rest must have been easy. (Roddy Doyle)

Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue. (Helen Dunmore)

If you are going to be obsessive about anything in the writing business, make it your word quota. (James Scott Bell)

What we take away from our reading of a good novel mainly is the memory of character. (Elizabeth George)

You will be published if you possess three qualities - talent, passion and discipline. (Elizabeth George)

A lot of writing is simply showing up. A lot of writing is being willing to show up day after day, same time and same place.
Lots of people want to have written; they don't want to write.
(Elizabeth George)

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. (Stephen King)

Let me end with a wonderful story that Stephen King tells about James Joyce:

According to the story, a friend came to visit him one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.
          "James, what's wrong?" the friend asked. "Is it the work?"
          Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at the friend. Of course it was the work; wasn't it always?
          "How many words did you get today?" the friend pursued.
          Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): "Seven."
          "Seven? But James. . . that's good, at least for you!"
          "Yes," Joyce said, finally looking up. "I suppose it is . . . but I don't know what order they go in!"

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