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Wise Words About Endings (and New Beginnings, Too)
Dec 29, 2021
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.
A thousand words and three miles a day keeps the writerly blues away.
"Every word works harder if you know where it's going."
There is only one plot—things are not what they seem.
I love the line of Flaubert about observing things very intensely. I think our duty as writers begins not with our own feelings, but with the powers of observing.
"I have notebooks where I plan things, hundreds of pages of unintelligible notes that I write once and never look at again. I think the process of note making is to capture thoughts on the page. Then later, when writing, some of the captives will scream up from the dungeons and if the wind is right maybe I’ll hear. "
Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.
My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”
Octavia E. Butler
"Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.”
It wouldn't happen... There hasn't been one publication by a monkey.
Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.
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