Category Archives: Quotations
Consider this description of mystery fiction from John Lanchester’s “The Case of Agatha Christie” in the London Review of Books. Her career amounts to a systematic exploration of formal devices and narrative structures, all through a genre with strictly defined rules … Continue reading
From Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell’s Sleeping on the Wing: Suppose you want to get an experience into words so that it is permanently there, as it would be in a painting—so that every time you read what you wrote, you reexperienced … Continue reading
Influence isn’t just a matter of copying someone or learning his or her tricks. You get influenced by writers whose work gives you hints about your own abilities and inclinations. Being influenced is largely a process of self-discovery. What you … Continue reading
Here are some of the first few pages of Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer. They describe our approach to this class (English 412R, Fall 2017).
When people come together—let’s say they come to a little party or something—you always hear them discuss character. They will say this one has a bad character, this one has a good character, this one is a fool, this one … Continue reading
Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every afternoon. –Raymond Chandler
I noticed this at Lifehacker.com, though it’s easily found other places as well. In his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short story: Use the time of a total stranger in such a … Continue reading
A few years ago for NaNoWriMo, Neil Gaiman sent the following email to hopeful NaNo’s, I thought it may be helpful to the class: Dear NaNoWriMo Author, By now you’re probably ready to give up. You’re past that first … Continue reading
I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.
My writing has drawn, out of a reluctant soul, a measure of astonishment at the nature of life.