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 comes from George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, and is a list of rules Orwell gave for writing. I thought all of his advice was really good, especially the second one. I tend to add extra words to sentences like “that” that aren’t needed. My writing always flows so much better when those extra words are gone!
“Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.” – George Orwell
This is a short and simple quote from author and illustrator Jo Linsdell.
“The hard part is putting one word after another.” – Jo Linsdell
The “easy” part of writing, at least for me, is creating the characters and developing the world. That is fun! The hard part is to keep telling the story, especially when I’m stuck or don’t like it or don’t feel like working on it anymore.
Today’s quote of the week comes from one of my favorite authors, Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I absolutely adore his books, and I thought that the man who wrote such a great series had to have some great writing advice! I chose this quote from him because I’m experiencing exactly what he’s talking about. I want to start on a new novel idea I came up with partly because new ideas are exciting and partly because it’s hard to finish the book I’m working on. But I know that if I switch now, I’ll never win Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ll never finish Fences.
“Writing a book is always hard work. It’s much easier to think of new ideas. You’ll get to the middle of the manuscript and you’ll think, ‘Oh, this is too hard. I think I’ll start another book instead and that will be easier.’ DON’T. That new book won’t be any easier.” – Rick Riordan
Today’s quote of the week comes from Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. I found this quote buried deep in a NaNoWriMo forum about writing quotes which you can find here. According to the thread, it’s from a 2009 NaNoWriMo pep talk by Ms. Levine.
“Do not beat up on yourself. Do not criticize your writing as lousy, inadequate, stupid, or any of the evil epithets that you are used to heaping on yourself. Such self-bashing is never useful. If you indulge in it, your writing doesn’t stand a chance.” — Gail Carson Levine
This really should be called “List of the Week.” Whatever you’d prefer to call it, it comes from Elmore Leonard, author of Glitz and many other novels. This list is his ten rules of writing. For me, I hate it when authors break rules 8 and 9. All that description drags down the novel, and I just end up bored. One rule I really need to work on is 6. I like the word “suddenly,” and every time I type it, I know I shouldn’t use it.
Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules For Writing
- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
- Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
- Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
- Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Today’s quote of the week comes from Octavia Butler, author of Kindred. I like this quote because I think every author can relate to it! I look back at my old writing that I used to think was so amazing and wince when I read it. I know years down the road, I’ll look back at the writing I’m doing now and wonder how I ever thought it was good. Writing is a continual learning process, and I think this quote really captures that!
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” – Octavia Butler
Today’s quote of the week is from John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath. I really liked this quote as this puts into words exactly what I learned from NaNo. I used to try to edit my work as I went along, reading what I wrote the previous day. That usually left me feeling discouraged and thinking that my writing was really bad, when in fact, it was just the rough draft. When I participated in NaNoWriMo, there was no time to go back and edit. I just had to keep writing and not worry about the mistakes.
“Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material” – John Steinbeck