Sometimes, we just need to laugh at ourselves… so for all you writers out there, here’s some of my favorite quotes from authors poking fun at this noble profession.

In a few short weeks, I’ll be going on my next big adventure! The plan is to make it all the way to the Grand Canyon, an experience which should greatly enrich a particularly intense scene of CROSSED LINES, the current work in progress. Along the way back, we’re hoping to see Mesa Verde (a bucket list item of mine) and the Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas (a bucket list item of my husband’s). 

As I look forward to vacation and scramble to get in as much blog/post scheduling as possible– without completely neglecting my novel– it seems like a good time to laugh at myself for all the many foibles of being a writer. So, to that end, here’s a few of my favorite quotes about writing that poke fun at the ageless art of wordsmithing.

 

 

Drafting

I tell you what, it’s a good thing I don’t have to get it all right the first time, because that’s just not going to happen. It took 15 years– FIFTEEEN YEARS, people– before I was satisfied enough with FORBIDDEN to even begin researching the process of publication. 

The lovely thing is that, with every redraft, I’m able to pull a little bit more out of my characters and fine tune those seemingly little word choices, and when I do finally put my work out there, I know I’ve given you something worth reading.

 

“The beautiful part of writing is you don’t have to get it right the first time… unlike, say, a brain surgeon.”

-Robert Cormier

“Writer’s Block is when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”

-Unknown

 

Writer’s Block

Ah, writer’s block, that terrible plague unique to this one subculture of creatives. Author Jennifer Probst compares writer’s block to sewage, advising that the best way to get rid of it is to get it moving… just force words onto that page, as it were, until they start coming together in a fruitful way again. You’ve got to flush those pipes!

Killing Characters

My best friend gave me a mug for Christmas that says, “Please don’t annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you.”

Well, I’m not going to tell you if I’m killing off any characters… you’ll have to read my books and find out for yourself! But, hey, here’s hoping that it does pay better than being a serial killer… not that I would know.

 

“There are two kinds of people who sit around all day thinking about killing people… mystery writers and serial killers. I’m the kind that pays better.”

-Richard Castle

“There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one can agree what they are.”

-Somerset Maugham

 

“Guidelines”

There are SO many rules you hear as a writer: don’t start a sentence with and or but, unless it’s in dialogue; show, don’t tell; don’t fetishize foreign cultures.

 When we start talking about traditional publishing, the list gets even longer: no flashbacks in the first five pages; that inciting incident better be in the first 30 pages; that novel better be between 50,000-100,000 words and it gets more specific by genre.

Some of these rules can be bent, some should never, and there are a lot of things an already successful author can get away with that a debut author can’t.

So good luck to us, amiright? 

Expression

Dictionary.com defines ineffable as “too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.”

Is it not the exact pursuit of written fiction to take the ineffable and, well… eff it?

That’s the goal, right there: to put a vivid scene in your head, to make you know exactly what the character is feeling, to illustrate foreign or invented cultural norms in ways that make sense and enliven the story.

So I guess I kinda do want to eff up my draft.

 

“Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.” 

-Douglas Adams

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

-E.L. Doctorow

 

All Those Voices

The unique privilege and struggle of a writer is holding all those worlds and all those people in our heads. Each and every individual we write has to be just that– an individual. Every choice that they make should fit within their own personality and experiences, not our own. It really is like juggling multiple personalities inside one mind (which, I should note, is not precisely the same thing as schizophrenia… but the quote did make me chuckle).

 

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What’s your favorite quote about writing?

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