Monday, 20 May 2013

My Top Three Writing Quotes (part one) - Joint Post

Karen Bush - visit website

I make no apology for offering all three of my top writing quotes from a single source: Terry Pratchett, who is, quite simply, a genius.

“To be a writer you’re going to have to read a lot – shitloads in fact. So many books that you’re going to overflow. You’ve got to keep your mind open to all sorts of influences. You’ve got to sit down for hours at a time in front of a computer. And you must make grammar, punctuation and spelling a part of your life.”

“There is one thing that I get asked all the time by aspiring writers who contact me. They say ‘I keep starting things; I don’t know how to finish them. I don’t seem to be able to find the time to write. I don’t seem to be able to get my ideas down on paper.’ What I always say is ‘Consider, just consider for a moment, that although you want to be a writer, being a writer may not be where your particular genius lies.”

“I’ve always felt that what I have going for me is not my imagination, because everyone has an imagination. What I have is a relentlessly controlled imagination. What looks like wild invention is actually quite carefully calculated.”


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Lynne Garner - visit website

I use quotes in my creative writing teaching all the time. I've discovered someone else has already said what I want to say, so why try to reinvent the wheel. Here are my three of my most used quotes:     

"Write the book you want to read"
From the book 'Steal Like An Artist' by Austin Kleon

"When writing about war, write about one man's war; when writing about peace, write about one man's war."
Anon

"The pleasure is the rewriting: The first sentence can't be written until the final sentence is written. This is a koan-like statement, and I don't mean to sound needlessly obscure or mysterious, but it's simply true. The The completion of any work automatically necessitates its revisioning"
Joyce Carol Oates 
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Dennis Hamley - visit website


"How do I know what I think till I see what I say?" 
(EM Forster) 

"Writing is a struggle against silence." 
(Carlos Fuentes)

"Art is never finished, only abandoned."
(Leonardo Da Vinci)

Or, if you prefer:

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned."
 (Paul Valery)





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Susan Price - visit website  

I love Terry Pratchett! - But I'm also a huge admirer of Robert Louis Stevenson, and was always
struck by how accurately he nailed his descriptions, his characters' reactions, everything. And then I came across this quote by him, which I always try to remember:
And for a last word: in all narration there is only one way to be clever, and that is to be exact. To be vivid is a secondary quality which must presuppose the first; for vividly to convey a wrong impression is only to make failure conspicuous.

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1 comment:

Lydia Bennet said...

good inspiring stuff, folks!