The Things They Tell You…

Some quotes on writing…

 [See key at the end for the guilty party]

No one ever makes it alone. MG

The best books emerge from the strongest convictions. DB

Good story ideas seem to come quite literally out of nowhere, sailing right at you out of the empty sky. SK

Spiritual journeys are a basic requirement of good story telling.  EM

Anything with happiness in the title and a set of rules to follow stands a good chance of vaulting into the bestseller lists. EM

As a writer you have to find ways to reflect the world you live in.  DCB

If stone cold sober people can fuck like they’re out of their minds…can actually be out of their minds while caught in the throe…why shouldn’t writers be able to go bonkers and still stay sane? SK

When a reader hears strong echoes of her own life and beliefs, she is more apt to become invested in the story. SK

Maybe I can generalise more. A novel is a way of telling the true about reality. AT

Read 5 hours a day, write 2000 words. SK

Writing is not life but I think it is a way back to life. SK

The root problems of the writer are personality problems. Problems of confidence, self -respect and freedom. JG

Seek out friends who leave you full of energy, feed you with ideas, have the effect of filling you with self confidence and eagerness to write. DB

Envy, depression, resentment will poison the very springs from which your work flows DB

Learn to hold your mind as still as your body. DB

Readers are interested in characters who want something, want it badly and want it now. SS

Eccentricity is at the heart of strong characterisation. SS

We all have a voice so we can all write, it’s as easy as that. AW

There is nothing worse than being boring. AW

Perfect people are boring. Perfect people are obnoxious because they’re better than us. Perfect people are, above all, too good to be true. SD, HM

Dorothy Wordsworth was a blogger. SM

Walking is very important to me as a writer, I can’t have creative thoughts when I’m sitting down. MB

Take your heart and put it on a plate. KK

Book buyers are herd animals. IV

People will do anything for a badge IV

I massively regret not learning shorthand. LH

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money. SJ

I write a little every day, without hope and without despair. ID


MG  Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers

DB  Dorothea Brande, Becoming a Writer

SK  Stephen King, On Writing

EM   Emma Brockes in the Guardian on Eat, Love, Pray

DCP  D.C.Pierre interview Observer New Review

AT  Adam Thirlwell, Esquire Oct 2010

JG  John Gardiner in foreword to DB Becoming a Writer

SS  Sol Stein, Solutions for Writers

AW  Andrew Wille, lecturer University College Falmouth, MA Professional Writing

SN,HM  Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark, How Not to Write a Novel

SM  Susannah Marriot, lecturer University College Falmouth, MA Professional Writing

MB  Michael Bird lecture on Bryan Wynter

CK  Kris Kenway, lecturer University College Falmouth MA Professional Writing

IV  Ian Vince,

LH  Leo Hickman lecture on being a Super Stringer for the Guardian

SJ  Samuel Johnson

ID  Isak Dinesen, quoted by Raymond Carver

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