“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” – Ernest Hemingway
This is so true. It’s hard to explain, but I know exactly which stories I have that use “living people” and which ones are simply characters. The “living people” show up in the setting I created and dominate it. On the other hand, I have a couple of stories filled with “characters” where any reader should be able to tell that I just inserted whatever I could to fill the cast.
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost
This goes back to the point I keep trying to make–that great writing requires 100% honesty. Have real tears, so will your reader. Have real surprise, so will your reader. Have real fear, so will your reader.
“The writer must be a participant in the scene… like a film director who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work, and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least the main character.” – Hunter S. Thompson
I’ve always liked this quote. When you’re writing a novel, you truly are a writer, director, casting director, cameraman, actor, make-up artist, and stagehand. It ain’t easy, and sometimes a couple of your stronger areas will have to cover up your weaker ones, but when everything comes together, well, that’s when you rule.
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King
This is probably the most famous quote to come out of Stephen King’s On Writing. He brings up this point constantly in the book, but it’s so true. No fiction is more difficult to read than one full of adverbs. Never forget that.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
This is the quote I repeat to myself first thing every morning and last thing every night. It’s the idea that keeps me writing, blogging, and focused. If a reader of this site takes only one thing away from it, I hope it’s the message that quote from Richard Bach conveys.
Keep trying and you WILL make it eventually.
So there are some of my favorite writing quotes. Feel free to leave a comment with yours.