April 13, 2013
When asked, “Do you typewrite?,” Eudora Welty, Author, answered: “Yes, and that’s useful—it helps give me the feeling of making my work objective. I can correct better if I see it in typescript. After that, I revise with scissors and pins. Pasting is too slow, and you can’t undo it, but with pins you can move things from anywhere to anywhere, and that’s what I really love doing—putting things in their best and proper place, revealing things at the time when they matter most.”
Source: “Eudora Welty, The Art of Fiction No. 47” by Linda Kuehl
March 25, 2013
I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.
March 23, 2013
Author Philip Roth: “Solving the problem of the book you’re writing always remains hard work, and your progress is snail-like. Even if you write a book in two years, sometimes you get a page a day, sometimes you get no pages … every sentence raises a problem, and essentially what you’re doing is connecting one sentence to the next. And you write a sentence and you have to figure out what comes next or what doesn’t come next.”
March 22, 2013
The mind can be trained to relieve itself on paper.
March 6, 2013
Author Gabriel García Márquez: “After The Evil Hour, I did not write anything for five years. I had an idea of what I always wanted to do, but there was something missing and I was not sure what it was until one day I discovered the right tone—the tone that I eventually used in One Hundred Years of Solitude. It was based on the way my grandmother used to tell her stories. She told things that sounded supernatural and fantastic, but she told them with complete naturalness. When I finally discovered the tone I had to use, I sat down for eighteen months and worked every day.”
Source: “Gabriel García Márquez, The Art of Fiction …” by Paris Review
March 1, 2013
“Confidence as a writer should not be confused with personal, egotistical confidence. A writer is a vehicle. I feel the story I am writing existed before I existed; I’m just the slob who finds it, and rather clumsily tries to do it, and the characters, justice. I think of writing fiction as doing justice to the people in the story, and doing justice to their story—it’s not my story. It’s entirely ghostly work; I’m just the medium. As a writer, I do more listening than talking. W. H. Auden called the first act of writing ‘noticing.’ He meant the vision—not …
Source: “John Irving, The Art of Fiction No. 93” by Paris Review
February 20, 2013
A novel, basically, is writing one sentence—then, without violating the scope of the first one, writing the next sentence.
Source: TEDx Talk “Be an artist, right now!”
February 18, 2013
Author Toni Morrison: “Meaning out in the world. It is not possible for me to be unaware of the incredible violence, the willful ignorance, the hunger for other people’s pain. I’m always conscious of that though I am less aware of it under certain circumstances—good friends at dinner, other books. Teaching makes a big difference, but that is not enough. Teaching could make me into someone who is complacent, unaware, rather than part of the solution. So what makes me feel as though I belong here out in this world is not the teacher, not the mother, not the lover, but what goes on in my mind when I am writing. Then I belong here and then all of the things that are disparate and irreconcilable can be useful. I can do the traditional things that writers always say they do, which is to make order out of chaos. Even if you are reproducing the disorder, you are sovereign at that point. Struggling through the work is extremely important—more important to me than publishing it.”
Source: “The Art of Fiction No. 134” by Paris Review