Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Economics Of The Writing Profession

Being a writer is a little bit like being a shepherd: it's quaint, people envy the solitude, but everyone knows the real money in in synthetic fibers.

Rob Long  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Novelists, Don't Misuse Dialogue

Dialogue presents a terrible temptation. It offers the writer a convenient platform from which to set forth his pet theories and ideas.

John Hersey 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is Everyone in Los Angeles a Screenwriter?

The screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker once said that no one in Los Angeles is ever more than fifty feet from a screenplay. They're stowed in the trunks of cars. In desk drawers at work. In laptop computers. Always ready to be pitched. A winning lottery ticket for its jackpot. An un-cashed paycheck.

Chuck Palachniuk 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Professional Versus Vocational Novelists

There's a difference between a vocation and a profession. A vocation is a calling--something you are called to do. A profession is something that you practice. In the United States, I think about 10 percent of the novelists writing actually make a living out of their novel writing. [It's more like 1 percent.] The others have the vocation, but they can only partly have the profession, because they have to spend the rest of their time making money in order to keep themselves in their habit. They are word junkies. They've got to pay for their fix. I chose university teaching because there is a long summer vacation, and also because you could fake it.

Margaret Atwood 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Novelist Joseph Heller's Work Habits

I work almost constantly. For a novelist without hobbies, weekends don't make much difference. Most people don't enjoy weekends anyway; they don't know what to do with Sundays.

Joseph Heller 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Creative People

Those of us who aspire to art--writers, painters, sculptors, designers--like to think of ourselves as creative individuals. The truth is, we are creative only because we create.

Rebecca McClanahan 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Selecting a Narrator For Your Story

Perhaps the single most important decision a writer makes when he begins a story is who the narrator is and where he's going to stand. The decision casts itself in the first sentence and is more complex than it seems on first sight. In making it, the writer answers a surprising number of questions, and those answers lay down the ground rules for the story he is writing. They will forecast the shape his story is going to take, and they will inform his style.

Kit Reed 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Talent To Right: A Gift Or Disease?

Personally, I think the talent to write is a disease, and the fact it produces books that people buy doesn't make it any more healthy.

James M. Cain 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sylvia Plath's Despair

Sometimes I feel so stupid and dull and uncreative that I am amazed when people tell me differently.

Sylvia Plath 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Writer's Catch-22

I didn't want to write what people would pay me to write, and no one wanted to pay me for what I wanted to write.

Sophy Burnham 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Intelligence and Taste In The Movie Making Business

In the picture business intelligence and taste are to be found only among the office help.

Joseph Hansen 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

For Most Book Writers, Success, If It Ever Comes, Comes Slowly

You write one book and you're ready for fame and fortune. I don't know that people are spending the time and attention on learning how to write--which takes years. Everybody sees the success stories.

Sue Grafton 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Will To Write

The consensus seems to be that drive is surprisingly more important than talent in producing creative work.

Dr. Alice W. Flaherty 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

William Faulkner on Inspiration to Write

I don't know anything about inspiration, because I don't know what inspiration is--I've heard about it, but I never saw it.

William Faulkner 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How To Get The Reader's Attention

Show me a villain and I'll show you conflict. Show me conflict and I'll show you a struggle. Show me a struggle, and I'll show you drama. Show me drama, and I'll show you readers paying attention.

William Noble