Talented writers make it look easy

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne Perhaps best known to every American school child for his novel The Scarlet Letter, American author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was a prolific novelist, short story writer and essayist who certainly could speak with authority on the craft of writing. His observation back in the nineteenth century…

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Writers in a perpetual dream state

“The good thing about writing books is that you can dream while you are awake.” —Haruki Murakami Love these wise words from brilliant Japanese author Haruki Murakami. After all, a writer will go nowhere without an active imagination. And yes, chances are your favorite author has a tendency to daydream at various points throughout the…

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A garrulous population is a writer’s dream

“Well, in the South, everybody stays busy talking all the time—they’re not sorry for you to overhear their tales. I don’t feel in helping myself I ever did anything underhanded. I was helping out.” -Eudora Welty Love this quote from American, Mississippi-born short story writer (1909-2001) Eudora Welty. I am no expert on the American…

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Writing as a way to free your mind

“A writer should be able to express himself easily, naturally, copiously in a form that frees his mind.” —Saul Bellow Wise words by Canadian-American author Saul Bellow (1915-2005), and I’m certain a concept with which most writers are familiar. As writers, how many times do we struggle with a story we’ve had simmering away in…

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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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I need to write!

Every year I set writing New Year’s Resolution writing goals for myself, and this year I’ve apparently been a very, very, very bad resolution-keeper. It’s not that I don’t write lots. I do. But it’s for my day job. What I’ve always been good about is carving out a bit of free time evenings and…

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Women’s fiction vs romance. One author’s discovery

In this very informative post on the Writer’s Digest site, romance author Linda Goodnight discovered, once she submitted a story proposal to her editors, that her story was not romance but women’s fiction. In this post, Women’s Fiction or Romance? The Differences, and 5 Reasons Why They Matter, Goodnight explores the differences between the genres. As…

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Take pride in what you wrote – because you wrote it

“The stories weren’t brilliant. But I wrote them, I began and ended them.” -Joy Williams Love this sentiment from Joy Williams, an American novelist and short story writer I admit I didn’t know when I read this quote. I like this idea of taking pride in your work – not just your best work, but…

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The art and joy of creation

“It’s the most exciting moment when you discover life in what you’ve created.” Mario Vargas Llosa Thoughtful words from Peruvian/Spanish author Mario Vargas Llosa, whose works I’ve long admired. I believe most authors would agree with this sage observation. After all, many of us spend an inordinate amount of time living ‘in our own heads’…

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