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
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 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
Today’s quote is from E.L. Konigsburg, author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I chose this quote because it offers some good advice for winning NaNoWriMo or really for finishing any manuscript.
“Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.” – E.L. Konigsburg
Today’s quote comes from James N. Frey, author of The Long Way to Die. Even though this advice is applicable throughout the year, it really reminded me of how great NaNoWriMo is. During that month, I’m writing so much I don’t have time to get writer’s block. Even if I do, I’m forced to just work through it so I can stay on track.
“You will never work through writer’s block if you walk away from your typewriter. That will only make it easier to walk away the next time.” – James N. Frey
This week’s quote comes from C.S. Lewis, author of many of my favorite classics. He’s probably most famous for his Chronicles of Narnia series. I really liked this quote as it offers some wonderful advice about showing and not telling in writing.
“Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, ‘Please will you do the job for me?'” – C.S. Lewis
Today’s quote of the week comes from Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451. Many authors’ advise reading a lot and writing every day to become a better writer. I thought this quote summed up all that advice nicely.
“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” – Ray Bradbury
Today’s quote of the week comes from Shandy L. Kurth, author of Devastation. I chose this funny quote because I’ve experienced this myself! Sometimes I’ll have this perfectly planned out scene, but the characters rebel, and I’m forced to change it or face the dire consequences.
“I’ve learned to let my characters speak and act the way they want to! I’ve tried to interfere but they just get angry at me and throw big rocks.” – Shandy L. Kurth