This quote comes from Evan Hunter (Ed McBain), author of King’s Ransom. I’m working on revising Snow, and it’s not easy! I’d rather write a rough draft than edit any day! However, I know editing and revising is something that has to be done, so even though it’s not my favorite, I still try to work on it.
“The only true creative aspect of writing is the first draft. That’s when it’s coming straight from your head and your heart, a direct tapping of the unconscious. The rest is donkey work. It is, however, donkey work that needs to be done.” – Evan Hunter
Today’s quote of the week is from classic author Jack London who wrote the famous book The Call of the Wild. I actually have a novel idea notebook where I keep ideas from magazines, the internet, or just ideas I’ve come up with. I also use my phone to jot down a quick idea if I’m out. I just type the idea into a memo and save it that way. No matter which method I use, I know I have to corral the plot bunnies or they’ll all escape!
“Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than grey matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” – Jack London
Today’s quote is from Terri Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon. The quote isn’t so much writing advice as it is humorous. Last night, my family was discussing flu shots. A fairly normal topic this time of year, right? Meanwhile, I was deep in thought about how a government could use a flu shot and control people with it through mini microchips or nanobots. I was half-way through plotting that book by the time dinner was over. So, yes, the “normal” ship has sailed without me on it. 😉
“You are a writer. The ‘normal’ ship sailed without you long ago.” – Terri Main
Merry Christmas Eve! This quote is from Nora DeLoach, author of Mama Traps A Killer. Editing is something that’s always been a struggle for me, and nothing is more frustrating than having to rewrite the same scene ten times. However, it’s a part of writing, and after I finish editing a scene, my writing sound so much better, it’s worth all the frustration!
“Writing is rewriting. Even after you’ve gotten an agent and an editor, you’ll have to rewrite. If you fall in love with the vision you want of your work and not your words, the rewriting will become easier.” – Nora DeLoach.
This week’s quote is from Chuck Wendig, author of Blackbirds. I always worry about whether or not my characters seem real, and this quote had some great advice to help me with that!
“The core of every good story is a character for whom we care – and not just care a little, but care deeply. This alone is no easy task: such a character must be likeable, but not annoying. He must have virtues but remain imperfect. She must possess the potential for sacrifice, for selflessness, for selfishness, for evil. He may be funny, but not only that. She may be serious, but not only that. He comprises many dimensions but not so many that he seems unreal or unpindownable.” – Chuck Wendig
This week’s quote comes from Jane Green, author of The Beach House. I love this quote because sometimes logging my daily word count feels more like something I have to do than something I love to do. It’s nice to know I’m not the only writer who struggles with not always wanting to write!
“Writing requires more than anything else, tremendous discipline. At the end of the day, whilst there are times when it is wonderfully creative and fun, a lot of the time it is just a job. And that means showing up whether you feel like it or not. It also means you write, whether you are inspired or not, and the only way to unlock your creativity is to start writing.” – Jane Green
This quote is from Vladimir Nabokov, the famous Russian author. I chose this quote because I’m currently trying to flesh out a novel idea I’ve been wanting to work on, and I’m having trouble. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t make the plot work until I read this quote and realized I was missing a “tree” or problem for my characters to solve.
“The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” – Vladimir Nabokov
This quote comes from Barbara Kingsolver, author of Flight Behavior. I never read over or let anyone else read my rough draft until I’m ready to start editing. That lets me focus in on the story and forget about what someone else will say. I think this quote summarizes that nicely!
“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” – Barbara Kingsolver
This week’s quote is from one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s letters. Tolkien is a favorite author of mine, and I’m sure most of you know that he wrote The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. This quote isn’t so much about writing advice as it is about Tolkien’s own writing style. Most writers I’ve heard of always say they use outlines to plan their story. I, personally, don’t. It was really cool to hear that the great fantasy master himself apparently wrote his epic without knowing exactly what would happen next!
“I met a lot of things on the way that astonished me. Tom Bombadil I knew already; but I had never been to Bree. Strider sitting in the corner at the inn was a shock, and I had no more idea who he was than had Frodo. The Mines of Moria had been a mere name; and of Lothloriene no word had reached my mortal ears till I came there. Far away I knew there were the Horselords on the confines of an ancient Kingdom of Men, but Fanghorn Forest was an unforeseen adventure. I had never heard of the House of Eorl nor of the Stewards of Gondor. Most disquieting of all, Saruman had never been revealed to me, and I was as mystefied as Frodo at Gandalf’s failure to appear on September 22.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to W.H. Auden, June 7, 1955
This quote is from Agatha Christie, author of Murder on the Orient Express. This quote reminded me of one of the lessons I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo, which is to just keep writing no matter what.
“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” – Agatha Christie