Writers On Writing IV

As the NaNoWriMo deadline approaches, here are a few more quotes to motivate you to push to the last word:


By the end, you should be inside your character, actually operating from within somebody else, and knowing him pretty well, as that person knows himself or herself. You’re sort of a predator, an invader of people.


Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.


Trollope said, “On the last day of each month recorded, every person in a work of fiction should be a month older than on the first.” We go with our characters wherever they lead us, and as time makes its mark on us, so it must on them.


It would be crazy to begin revising immediately after finishing the first draft, and counter to the way the mind likes to create. You’re exhausted. You deserve a vacation. Go away from the project for at least a week.


With one exception, any publication opportunity you can seize is worth seizing; ever-widening ripples move out from even the smallest splash. Something more like a self-contained plop is all you’re likely to get, however, if you resort to a vanity press. Vanity publishing is not the same as either subsidy publishing or self-publishing, though the terms are often used as if they were synonymous. Subsidy publishing is best defined by its guaranteed audience; self-publishing is partly defined by its realistic efforts to find an appropriate audience; vanity publishing frequently involves no audience at all.


One of the great rules of art: Do not linger.