Chasing perfection

“None of my work has met my own standards.” -William Faulkner Hard to believe one of my favorite authors could be so critical of his masterpieces. William Faulkner (1897 – 1962), one of the great American writers in the southern tradition, was a prolific novelist, short story writer, playwright and essayist. He was the recipient…

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Longer days, happier campers (and writers)

Last weekend in Italy we set our clocks forward, and oh!, what a difference an hour makes. I’m sure it says something about my simple-mindedness, but my mood improves markedly with the lengthening of the days. For those of us who love to write, perhaps it seems counter-intuitive, but I find these longer days to…

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Authors as Martians, according to Martin Amis

“I think all writers are Martians. They come and say, You haven’t been seeing this place right.” —Martin Amis An interesting take on writers by talented British novelist Martin Amis. I like this imagery of a novelist as a Martian – giving his or her unique take on (perhaps oft visited) subject matter, with the…

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Writing advice from Virginia Woolf

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” -Virginia Woolf Who can argue with this brilliant writing advice from author Virginia Woolf? Woolf’s writing has certainly stood the test of time, but I like the…

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Wishing luck to all you NaNoers!

Once again we’ve reached November, the month where crazy writers around the world embark in Marathon writing sessions under the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. The goal? To write 50,000 words of a novel during the month, and to do so by shutting down your internal editor and allowing yourself to be overtaken…

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Not a plotter, just a fretter and wheelspinner?

“I hardly do any preplanning, just fretting and wheel spinning Geoff Dyer Had to laugh when I read this writing quote by British novelist Geoff Dyer, and realized I really could relate. I also do minimal planning before a story. Generally, I have a scene or a big-picture idea. I may even have a voice…

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It’s not nosiness – it’s research

“I’m a gossipy person—I like looking at people and how they get along with one another.” -Jane Smiley Love these words by the brilliant novelist Jane Smiley. And I think this is an important trait for a novelist, after all, they are delving into the inner lives of the characters they create on the page.…

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