One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment. -Hart Crane, poet (1899-1932)

Writing is like driving a car at night.  You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way.”  –  E.L. Doctorow

Poetry should please by a fine excess and not by singularity. It should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost as a remembrance.”  — John Keats, poet (1795-1821)

At NC Society of Historians, a person wrote a sequel to the book they wrote.  “I fell in love with the characters I created.”

“What I like in a good author isn’t what he says, but what he whispers.”  — Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist

“The two most engaging powers of an author are, to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”  — Samuel Johnson

Writing is thinking on paper. -William Zinsser, writer and editor (7 Oct 1922-2015)

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., writer (11 Nov 1922-2007)

Malcolm Gladwell [Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, What the Dog Saw] advice:

  •             Research a little at a time
  •             Write a little at a time
  •             Don’t listen to music.
  •             What we’re like inside is determined by outside world.
  •             Choose to Become Extraordinary.
  •             People with social power get lots done.

A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others. -William Faulkner, novelist (25 Sep 1897-1962)

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order. -Jean-Luc Godard, film director (b. 3 Dec 1930)

No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell. -Charles de Lint, writer (b. 22 Dec 1951)

Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words.  If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world. — Tom Clancy

2016 4 5: Writers’ group

  • Write your book in one sentence.  Then one paragraph and then one chapter.
  • Then choose characters.
  • Clarity.  Short sentences.  Say dialogue aloud.  Do not stop to rewrite.
  • Paragraphs of historical fact between paragraphs of fiction.
  • John Hunt publishing in England.  Just paperbacks.

The first page sells that book; the last page sells your next book.  — Mickey Spillane

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story. -Terry Pratchett, novelist (28 Apr 1948-2015)

Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once. -Stephen King, novelist (b. 21 Sep 1947)

A poor idea well written is more likely to be accepted than a good idea poorly written. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (2 Jan 1920-1992)

This post is one in a series of self-improvement for the guild. Information is complied from guild experiences and research. RWG Posts contain all posts of this nature.