When starting a novel there are a few things that come to my mind: Am I talented enough to write this story? Do I have the ability to weave this world together? Why didn’t I get coffee before sitting down? Do the dogs need to go outside? What is my antagonist’s main flaw? Aren’t people multifauceted? Why is my main character so perfect? Maybe she can have a peanut allergy… scratch that. I think she inherited a fear of spiders from her Dad… Ugg! No spiders. Wait! What’s on my foot?! Oh, just Brooke Peyton’s tail…. what was I thinking about? Oh never mind- you can’t inherit fears… wait. Can you?
An hour and four non-spider-related Google searches later I decide it’s time for an early lunch.
Some writers thrive at the beginnings of a new story. The thought process when creating a character can be exlilirating. But others cringe when faced with an undeveloped plot. Whatever type of writer you are here are three quotes from famous authors to prove you are not alone.
“You yearn to turn out a book-length, your typewriter is silently shrieking abuse, you are itching to go. First read! Read the work of top-notch writers in your field. They know how! Read first for entertainment, then reread for analysis. Soak yourself in their stuff—for atmosphere, color, technique.” —Fred East, June 1944
This quote is relevant to every writer. I was taught from a very young age that if I wanted to write a novel I had to read a few first. If you want to write a book why not learn from the masters?
“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” —Lawrence Block, June 1981
I have the hardest time “falling behind” on my daily word count goal. I have been know to spend days not writing because I missed one writing day. You have to give yourself permission to have fun. While writing is a job for the published authors in the world, you still have to enjoy it. We don’t spend hours querying agent for the fun of it. We do it because we love writing.
“You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.” —Orson Scott Card, September 1980
A quote I need to remember! I always feel as though I should write a novel in a month. “An eighty-five thousand word manuscript in less than a month?! I’ve done that!” Every novel is different. I frequently have to remind myself of the hot mess that was my life when attempting to edit that novel. I need to chill out and enjoy the process. Everything that comes after that is business and, to be perfectly honest, the creative process is so much more fun!
What are your favorite inspiring quotes about writing? Tell us below!