Tuesday, October 16, 2018

One Prolific True Crime Writer

When I'm in a writing mode (eight months of the year), I am at my computer at least six days a week from 10 AM to about 7:30 PM, and I require ten pages a day--my personal commitment.

Ann Rule

The Underdog Character in Fiction

I find characters who are at cross-purposes with society, or opposed to society in some way, interesting because they are by definition the underdogs. They have to be clever, cunning, imaginative, dogged, and wily--whereas society merely has to lean its weight a little.

Donald Westlake 

Aldous Huxley on Critics

The critics don't interest me because they're concerned with what's past and done, while I'm concerned with what comes next.

Aldous Huxley 

Advice to Crime Novelists

Don't distract a mystery reader with a romantic subplot.

Florence King

F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood

F. Scott Fitzgerald was both a perfect and terrible fit for Hollywood. His youthful fame gave him a shrewd perspective on that shallow, tinselly world. Yet while working there in the last three years of his life, he was a sad case: a debt-ridden genius, alcoholic, selling himself to collaborate on second-rate screenplays.

Caryn James

How Characters in a Novel Should Not Address Each Other

Don't have characters call each other by name in dialogue, unless it's for a specific effect, such as a threat. In real life, people rarely use each other's names when they're talking.

Cynthia Whitcomb 

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Discouraging Word For Aspiring Novelists

I think aspiring writers need as much discouragement as we can muster. Nobody should undertake the life of a fiction writer--so unrenumerative, so maddeningly beset by career vagaries--who has any other choice in the matter. Learn a trade! Flannery O'Conner said it best: "People are always asking me if the university stifles writers. I reply that it hasn't stifled enough of them."

Gerald Howard