Skip to Content

Quotes

'There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.'

'Life being so short and the quiet hours of it few, we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books.'

 

'The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He's entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you're in violation.'

'I suggest that the only books which influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.'

'Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.'

'A best-seller was a book which somehow sold well simply because it was selling well.'

'Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear.'

'Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.'

'A merely great intellect can produce prose, but not poetry, not one line.'

‘I write what I would like to read -what I think other women would like to read. If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian mountains cry and she writes and tells me about it, especially if she says, "I read it to Tom when he came in from work and he cried too", I feel I have succeeded.'

‘If you try to nail anything down, in the novel, either it kills the novel, or the novel gets up and walks away with the nail.'

'If you go too far in fantasy and break the string of logic, and become nonsensical, someone will surely remind you of your dereliction....Pound for pound, fantasy makes a tougher opponent for the creative person.'

'Much is written of the power of the Press, a power which may last but a day; by comparison little is heard of the power of books, which may endure for generations.'

‘The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.'

'The sum of human wisdom is not contained in any one language, and no single language is capable of expressing all forms and degrees of human comprehension.'

'You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer.'

‘What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?'

'When starting to think about any novel, part of the motive is: I'm going to show them, this time.'

'Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.'

'If you go too far in fantasy and break the string of logic, and become nonsensical, someone will surely remind you of your dereliction....Pound for pound, fantasy makes a tougher opponent for the creative person.'

‘At times of crisis or distress, it’s poems that people turn to. (Poetry) still has a power to speak to people’s feelings, maybe in a way that fiction, because it works in a longer way, can’t. There’s a little bit of your brain that mourns and grieves that you’re not writing poetry, but actually as long as I’m writing something, I’m happy.’

'The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions.'

'Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear.'

'Retiring from writing is not to retire from life, but retiring from writing is to avoid the inevitable bitterness which a writing career is bound to deliver as its end product, in almost every case.'

'All the information you need can be given in dialogue.'

'Fiction is not a dream. Nor is it guess work. It is imagining based on facts, and the facts must be accurate or the work of imagining will not stand up.'

'That's the essential goal of the writer: you slice out a piece of yourself and slap it down on the desk in front of you. You try to put it on paper, try to describe it in a way that the reader can see and feel and touch. You paste all your nerve endings into it and then give it out to strangers who don't know you or understand you.  Read more

'I like to live in a nice house. I like to play to a big audience. A lot of people enjoy the stories. I don't think that's anything to get all pumped up about, and I don't think it's anything to get depressed about.'

 

 

'Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.'

‘Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.'

'The trouble with science fiction is that you can write about everything: time, space, all the future, all the past, all of the universe, any kind of creature imaginable. That's too big. It provides no focus for the artist. An artist needs, in order to function, some narrowing of focus.  Read more

'The literary world is made up of little confederacies, each looking upon its own members as the lights of the universe; and considering all others as mere transient meteors, doomed to soon fall and be forgotten, while its own luminaries are to shine steadily into immortality.'

'Publishers don't nurse you,; they buy and sell you.'

‘Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.'

'One of my many theories about short stories is that their titles and first lines ought to be memorable, because if not memorable they will not be remembered, and if not remembered the stories will not be reprinted (because no one can find them).'

'Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.'

 

 

'Use your imagination. Trust me, your lives are not interesting. Don't write them down.'

'It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.'

Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.

'The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions.'

Syndicate content

Search quotes



about seo