E.L Doctorow quotes

I am telling you what I know—words have music and if you are a musician you will write to hear them. Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.

Maya Angelou quotes

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host; it doesn’t do a damn thing to the object! I know that a diamond is a result of extreme pressure. Less time and less pressure and it’s just crystal or coal or fossilised leaves or just dirt. But, time and pressure will create a diamond. My…

Anton Chekhov quotes

If in the first act you introduce a gun, by the third act you have to use it. Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out. The task of a writer is not to solve the problem but to state the problem correctly. There is nothing more…

Orhan Pamuk quotes

Oscar Wilde always makes me smile – with respect and admiration. His short stories prove that it is possible to be both sarcastic, even cynical, but deeply compassionate. Just seeing the cover of one of Wilde’s books in a bookshop makes me smile. Culture is mix. Culture means a mix of things from other sources….

Susan Sontag quotes

Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future. It is easier to endure than to change. But once one has changed, what was endured is hard to recall. All understanding begins with our not accepting the world as it appears. To take a…

Quotes from Joan Didion

  I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power off self-respect. Life changes fast. Life…

Bookworm

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. Vera Nazarian             If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. Ralph Waldo Emerson Always read something that will make you look good if…

When a person is born…

When a person is born, he can embark on only one of three roads of life: if you go right, the wolves will eat you; if you go left, you’ll eat the wolves; if you go straight, you’ll eat yourself. Anton Chekhov My ambition is to say in ten sentences what other men say in…

Elena Ferrante — Poetry Curator

“I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t. . . . I very much love those mysterious volumes, both ancient and modern, that have no definite author but have had and continue […]…

Underwrite and Overwrite

The piece of work has to be proportionate to its drama, to its suggestiveness, to its ideas. There’s a power that can sometimes be gained by taking things out. But more often than not, to tell you the truth, I find myself telling my students that they’ve underwritten. There will be specific scenes that will…

La experiencia de leer

El verdadero lector lee los libros con gravedad o solemnidad. Porque los leerá con la misma actitud con que el autor los ha escrito (…) Disfrutará de una fruslería como de una fruslería , y de una tragedia como de una tragedia. Nunca caerá en el error de tratar de mascar nata montada como si…

The habit of art

  Very few people who are supposedly interested in writing are interested in writing well. They are interested in publishing something… They are interested in being a writer, not writing… If this is what you are interested in, I am not going to be much use to you. I feel that the external habits of…

Writers start out. . . and end up. . .

The writer trusts nothing she writes–it should be too reckless and alive for that, it should be beautiful and menacing and slightly out of control. . . . Good writing . . . explodes in the reader’s face. Whenever the writer writes, it’s always three or four or five o’clock in the morning in her…

The magic of libraries

  A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life                                                                        …

Between Writers (II)

  Distraction is our habitual state. Not the distraction of the person who withdraws from the world in order to shut himself up in the secret and ever-changing land of his fantasy, but the distraction of the person who is always outside himself, lost in the trivial, senseless, turmoil of everyday life. Octavio Paz If…

Between Writers (I)

Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries…

Stephen King said

“I am always chilled and astonished by the would be writers who ask me for advice and admit, quite blithely, that they don’t have time to read. This is like a guy starting up Mount Everest saying that he didn’t have time to buy any rope or pitons”. Stephen King

Jean Cocteau, a versatile man

Jean Cocteau (1889 -1963), French writer and filmmaker Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort. I believe in luck: how else can you explain…

Dreams

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. Anaïs Nin

Are women human?

A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had…

Russell’s viewpoint

To all the talented young men who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: ‘Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write. Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an…