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Quotes & Sayings About Writing Fiction

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Top Writing Fiction Quotes

Writing Fiction Quotes By Elif Safak

When I am writing political op-eds, I do think carefully about the impact of my words. When I am writing fiction, it's a different story. In my fiction I am more reckless. I don't care about the real world until I am done with the book. — Elif Safak

Writing Fiction Quotes By Aaron Belz

I don't really want to write fiction at all. I don't see why fiction is necessary when we have real life already confusing enough. — Aaron Belz

Writing Fiction Quotes By Mark Coker

Although erotica authors are being targeted, this is an issue that should concern all indie authors. It affects indies disproportionately because indies are the ones pushing the boundaries of fiction. Indies are the ones out there publishing without the (fading) protective patina of a "traditional publisher" to lend them legitimacy. We indies only have each other. — Mark Coker

Writing Fiction Quotes By Jonathan Franzen

Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money. — Jonathan Franzen

Writing Fiction Quotes By Susan Orlean

I teach a non-fiction writing class at New York University, and one of my great pleasures is deciding on the syllabus. — Susan Orlean

Writing Fiction Quotes By James Thayer

When I was hired by the University of Washington extension school to teach the one-year fiction writing course - 96 classroom hours - I quickly determined that I knew only about an hour's worth off the top of my head. — James Thayer

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ursula K. Le Guin

Do remember, though, that unless you're a playwright, the result [dialogue] isn't what you want; it's only an element of what you want. Actors embody and re-create the words of drama. In fiction, a tremendous amount of story and character may be given through the dialogue, but the story-world and its people have to be created by the storyteller. If there's nothing in it but disembodied voices, too much is missing. — Ursula K. Le Guin

Writing Fiction Quotes By Jack Tate

I'm a fiction writer not by choice, but by necessity. It's the only way I can say what I want without having to admit it's the truth. — Jack Tate

Writing Fiction Quotes By Guy Gavriel Kay

It can be hard to write a skillfully entertaining fiction, but a great book wants to be more, and wants more from us. — Guy Gavriel Kay

Writing Fiction Quotes By Erma Bombeck

Some of the best fiction writers got their start writing airline menus. — Erma Bombeck

Writing Fiction Quotes By Kate Zambreno

I do teach fiction and non-fiction, and usually I'm interested in works that confuse genre, but I'm very new to teaching creative writing, I don't have an MFA, or a PhD, I tend to approach it just through my own practice. — Kate Zambreno

Writing Fiction Quotes By David Foster Wallace

Workshop Hermeticism, fiction for which the highest praise involves the words 'competent,' 'finished,' 'problem-free,' fiction over which Writing-Program pre- and proscriptions loom with the enclosing force of horizons: no character without Freudian trauma in accessible past, without near-diagnostic physical description; no image undissolved into regulation Updikean metaphor; no overture without a dramatized scene to 'show' what's 'told'; no denouement prior to an epiphany whose approach can be charted by and Freitag on any Macintosh. — David Foster Wallace

Writing Fiction Quotes By Wilkie Collins

I found out after reading quite a lot of it that it is not rated very high. He has a very descriptive way of writing but also lengthy. May not want to finish!!!!! This was his 1sr and only try ast Historical Fiction! — Wilkie Collins

Writing Fiction Quotes By Haruki Murakami

Tengo did not know for certain whether he wanted to be a professional novelist, nor was he sure he had the talent to write fiction. What he did know was that he could not help spending a large part of every day writing fiction. To him, writing was like breathing. — Haruki Murakami

Writing Fiction Quotes By Antony Johnston

File under "Hard Truths": the creative muse is fiction. If you sit around waiting for the right moment to create, you will die waiting. — Antony Johnston

Writing Fiction Quotes By Anne Rice

I do not allow fan-fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan-fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters. It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes. — Anne Rice

Writing Fiction Quotes By Lara Campbell McGehee

I believe one of the important differences between creating literature and just telling a story around the campfire is that in literature you're recreating the experience of life, not just relaying a 'this happened, then that happened' kind of narrative. The specific details and layers of depth that make the world of the story - and what the character is experiencing in that world - as real as possible are elements I love as a reader and, consequently, elements I strive to use effectively as a writer. — Lara Campbell McGehee

Writing Fiction Quotes By Barry James Hickey

If I can keep writing just one good page a day, I will have 15 published novels in my expected lifetime. Tick, tick, tick... — Barry James Hickey

Writing Fiction Quotes By Elizabeth Eulberg

I'm an idiot for thinking that one performance would change anything.
Maybe I should stop writing songs and start writing fiction. — Elizabeth Eulberg

Writing Fiction Quotes By S.J. Rozan

While he sweated out a story she bled put a poem. (Dark City Lights) — S.J. Rozan

Writing Fiction Quotes By China Mieville

[ ... ]i'm not a leftist trying to smuggle in my evil message by the nefarious means of fantasy novels. I'm a science fiction and fantasy geek. I love this stuff. And when I write my novels, I'm not writing them to make political points. I'm writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I'm creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have [ ... ] I'm trying to say I've invented this world that I think is really cool and I have these really big stories to tell in it and one of the ways that I find to make that interesting is to think about it politically. If you want to do that too, that's fantastic. But if not, isn't this a cool monster? — China Mieville

Writing Fiction Quotes By Megan Abbott

I wrote my graduate thesis at New York University on hard-boiled fiction from the 1930s and 1940s, so, for about two years, I read nothing but Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James Cain and Chester Himes. I developed such a love for this kind of writing. — Megan Abbott

Writing Fiction Quotes By Karen A. Chase

I enjoy writing historical fiction because it allows me to live more lives than just this one. — Karen A. Chase

Writing Fiction Quotes By L.L. Barkat

Laura thought Bell would have a few things to say to Pynchon. And Laura had a few things to say to Bell, like, How the hell was a writer supposed to know when she was one-fifth through her novel-writing, so she could cut a door into the wall and shove her character out into the forest? — L.L. Barkat

Writing Fiction Quotes By Flannery O'Connor

You may ask, why not simply call this literature Christian? Unfortunately, the word Christian is no longer reliable. It has come to mean anyone with a golden heart. And a golden heart would be a positive interference in the writing of fiction. — Flannery O'Connor

Writing Fiction Quotes By Deeba Salim Irfan

Reshuffllng of thoughts - facilitates a refreshed perspective to a mental deadlock! — Deeba Salim Irfan

Writing Fiction Quotes By Orhan Pamuk

Nothing changed in my life since I work all the time," Pamuk said then. "I've spent 30 years writing fiction. For the first 10 years I worried about money and no one asked me how much money I made. The second decade I spent money and no one was asking me about that. And I've spent the last 10 years with everyone expecting to hear how I spend the money, which I will not do. — Orhan Pamuk

Writing Fiction Quotes By Anne Enright

I'm very keenly aware that there aren't very many women writing literary fiction in Ireland and so that gives me a sense that what I say matters, in some small way. — Anne Enright

Writing Fiction Quotes By Henry David Thoreau

It would be worth the while to select our reading, for books are the society we keep; to read only the serenely true; never statistics, nor fiction, nor news, nor reports, nor periodicals, but only great poems, and when they failed, read them again, or perchance write more. Instead of other sacrifice, we might offer up our perfect (teleia) thoughts to the gods daily, in hymns or psalms. For we should be at the helm at least once a day. — Henry David Thoreau

Writing Fiction Quotes By William Faulkner

The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies. — William Faulkner

Writing Fiction Quotes By Terry Brooks

Fantasy writing must be grounded in both truth and life experience if it is to work. It can be as inventive and creative as the writer can make it, a whirlwind of images and plot twists, but it cannot be built on a foundation of air. The world must be identifiable with our own, must offer us a frame of reference we can recognize."
"Fantasy stories work because the writer has interwoven bits and pieces of reality with imagination to form a personal vision. — Terry Brooks

Writing Fiction Quotes By Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal

It's very hard to be a screenwriter. I remember getting a couple of awards. I got a PEN West award a million years ago when I did Running on Empty, and I sat in the room with all these writers. They wrote everything from novels to non-fiction to children's books to journalism - any kind of writing - and I realized that there was no one in the room who would ever read anything I'd written. — Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal

Writing Fiction Quotes By Will Self

The marvellous thing about writing, whether it be fiction or journalism, is that it is simultaneously the most intimate and the most anonymous of meetings between people. It is profoundly intimate in reaching into the psyche of another, at the same time as being devoid of social characteristics, cultural characteristics, economic characteristics. — Will Self

Writing Fiction Quotes By Nick Antosca

Fiction and screenwriting blend for me. I feel like being a TV writer/screenwriter has definitely made my fiction writing better, although I have less time to do it. — Nick Antosca

Writing Fiction Quotes By Mary Papas

That woman must have been a husky in a previous life. — Mary Papas

Writing Fiction Quotes By Charlotte Mary Yonge

If I write nothing but fiction for some time I begin to get stupid, and to feel rather as if it had been a long meal of sweets; then history is a rest, for research or narration brings a different part of the mind into play. — Charlotte Mary Yonge

Writing Fiction Quotes By Penelope Lively

You learn a lot, writing fiction. — Penelope Lively

Writing Fiction Quotes By Lani Brown

Authors are supernatural beings. They exist in the world, also in worlds they create, and in the worlds of other authors they read. — Lani Brown

Writing Fiction Quotes By George Orwell

Writing a novel is agony. — George Orwell

Writing Fiction Quotes By Sandy Vaile

Delayed gratification hints that something terrible is going to happen, and then delays the resolution.

It's that interval between the promise of something awful and it actually happening, where suspense resides. — Sandy Vaile

Writing Fiction Quotes By Justin Cronin

I'm an ecumenical reader, grew up with all sorts of fiction, teach writing, went to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, so my tastes and interests are broad. — Justin Cronin

Writing Fiction Quotes By Thomas Mallon

I often tell people who want to write historical fiction: don't read all that much about the period you're writing about; read things from the period that you're writing about. There's a tendency to stoke up on a lot of biography and a lot of history, and not to actually get back to the original sources. — Thomas Mallon

Writing Fiction Quotes By Linda W. Yezak

Action is the pulse of any good story, but the character is the heart. If the action has no consequence to the character, the story loses heart. — Linda W. Yezak

Writing Fiction Quotes By Flannery O'Connor

There is no excuse for anyone to write fiction for public consumption unless he has been called to do so by the presence of a gift. It is the nature of fiction not to be good for much unless it is good in itself. — Flannery O'Connor

Writing Fiction Quotes By Stephen Carter

So much emotion goes into writing fiction. — Stephen Carter

Writing Fiction Quotes By Daniel Keys Moran

It's very strange writing science fiction in a world that moves as fast as ours does. — Daniel Keys Moran

Writing Fiction Quotes By Rainbow Rowell

I just ... ," Cath started again: "I realized that I'm not cut out for fiction-writing."
Professor Piper blinked and pulled her head back. "What are you talking about? You're exactly cut out for it. You're a Butterick pattern, Cath
this is what you were meant to do. — Rainbow Rowell

Writing Fiction Quotes By Lloyd Alexander

Writing for children can be completely honest in non-cynical ways. In adult books you're required to be cynical. It embarrasses us to say positive things. You can have affection and hope in children's books, but that is out of fashion in adult fiction. — Lloyd Alexander

Writing Fiction Quotes By Jasper Fforde

Well, that's it." I said after we had waited for another five minutes and found ourselves still in a state of pleasantly welcome existence. "The ChronoGuard has shut itself down and time travel is as it should be: technically, logically, and theoretically ... impossible." "Good thing, too," reply Landon. "It always made my head ache. In fact, I was thinking of doing self help book for science-fiction novelists eager to write about time travel. It would consist of a single word: Don't. — Jasper Fforde

Writing Fiction Quotes By Rainbow Rowell

How many people make a career out of writing anyway?' Cath snapped. She felt like everything inside her was snapping. Her nerves. Her temper. Her esophagus. 'I'll write because I love it, the way other people knit or ... or scrapbook. And I'll find some other way to make money. — Rainbow Rowell

Writing Fiction Quotes By George R R Martin

Fiction is lies; we're writing about people who never existed and events that never happened when we write fiction, whether its science fiction or fantasy or western mystery stories or so-called literary stories. All those things are essentially untrue. But it has to have a truth at the core of it. — George R R Martin

Writing Fiction Quotes By David Foster Wallace

Literary fiction and poetry are real marginalized right now. There's a fallacy that some of my friends sometimes fall into, the ol' "The audience is stupid. The audience only wants to go this deep. Poor us, we're marginalized because of TV, the great hypnotic blah, blah." You can sit around and have these pity parties for yourself. Of course this is bullshit. If an art form is marginalized it's because it's not speaking to people. One possible reason is that the people it's speaking to have become too stupid to appreciate it. That seems a little easy to me. — David Foster Wallace

Writing Fiction Quotes By Sylvia Townsend Warner

If one were to include one-tenth of the remarkable people one knows, in one's fiction, no one would accept it. Real life remains one's private menagerie. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ted Dekker

It's neither and it's both. That's the perfect kind of art. Labels only detract from the artist's intention. — Ted Dekker

Writing Fiction Quotes By Stephen Colbert

You should spend more time with your families; write that novel you've always wanted to write. You know, the one about the fearless reporter who stands up to the administration. You know - fiction. — Stephen Colbert

Writing Fiction Quotes By Roger Zelazny

I see myself as a novelist, period. I mean, the material I work with is what is classified as science fiction and fantasy, and I really don't think about these things when I'm writing. I'm just thinking about telling a story and developing my characters. — Roger Zelazny

Writing Fiction Quotes By Sam Weller

I first encountered Bradbury's writing when I was pretty young. He's a great bridge author between young-adult fiction and literature. — Sam Weller

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ralph Peters

When I'm writing about reality, I'm writing about death. When I'm writing fiction, I'm writing about life. — Ralph Peters

Writing Fiction Quotes By T.S. Wieland

I had a few people ask me if I might one day write my own autobiography. I just told them, 'It's already being written; through my books. — T.S. Wieland

Writing Fiction Quotes By Rob Shepherd

There is no reticence nor any limit to a 'Majique.' Only the unwillingness of the mind to open itself to the limitless power of possibilities that exist within the unbelievable. — Rob Shepherd

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ted Conover

Required for good fiction: character, conflict, change through time. And if you're really blessed, you get resolution. But life doesn't usually work out that way. — Ted Conover

Writing Fiction Quotes By W.J. Raymond

A good novel, one which entices the author as much as it beckons the reader. — W.J. Raymond

Writing Fiction Quotes By Bonnie Friedman

Fiction must convince our bodies for it to have any chance of convincing our minds. — Bonnie Friedman

Writing Fiction Quotes By David McCullough

You have to get inside the people you are writing about. You have to go below the surface. And that's to a very large degree what all writers are doing - they're trying to get below the surface. Whether it's in fiction or poetry or writing history and biography. Some people make that possible because they write wonderful letters and diaries. And you have to sort of go where the material is. — David McCullough

Writing Fiction Quotes By Jen Lancaster

I began writing fiction when I started running out of material in my own life. — Jen Lancaster

Writing Fiction Quotes By Cynthia Ozick

No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, don't confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader. — Cynthia Ozick

Writing Fiction Quotes By L.L. Barkat

If she was going to write a novel, she felt defeated before she began, because someone might be coming along to pick it apart, looking for symbols like The Conch or The Whale, which seemed to have mythic proportions. — L.L. Barkat

Writing Fiction Quotes By Katherine Paterson

The world that is in me is the only world I have by which to grasp the world outside and as I write fiction, it is the chart by which I must steer. — Katherine Paterson

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ridley Pearson

I think every fiction writer, to a certain extent, is a schizophrenic and able to have two or three or five voices in his or her body. We seek, through our profession, to get those voices onto paper. — Ridley Pearson

Writing Fiction Quotes By Karen Traviss

I'm still an old-school reporter at heart. Writing fiction satisfies my journalistic need to hear and relay the testimony of everyday people at the center of events. — Karen Traviss

Writing Fiction Quotes By Bangambiki Habyarimana

Fiction writers, magicians, politicians and priests are the only people rewarded for entertaining us with their lies — Bangambiki Habyarimana

Writing Fiction Quotes By Wayne Gerard Trotman

May it be written. May it be done. — Wayne Gerard Trotman

Writing Fiction Quotes By Kay Kenyon

Even when I'm writing about shape shifters and magical lands, I'm looking into my own heart. — Kay Kenyon

Writing Fiction Quotes By Tim O'Brien

What stories can do, I guess, is make things present.
I can look at things I never looked at. I can attach faces to grief and love and pity and God. I can be brave. I can make myself feel again. — Tim O'Brien

Writing Fiction Quotes By Don Roff

Write about the thing that scares you most or your most private confession and you'll never have a problem coming up with decent fiction. — Don Roff

Writing Fiction Quotes By Max Hawthorne

When it comes to creating compelling fiction, the devil may be in the details, but it is your imagination that ultimately allows your work to spread its wings and take flight. And fly it must. Only by soaring above the clouds of doubt can one truly achieve a suspension of disbelief — Max Hawthorne

Writing Fiction Quotes By John Geddes

I retreat into my fictional world where everything makes sense - but even there I can't even control what people do ... — John Geddes

Writing Fiction Quotes By Paul Auster

For example, when I was writing Leviathan, which was written both in New York and in Vermont - I think there were two summers in Vermont, in that house I wrote about in Winter Journal, that broken-down house ... I was working in an out-building, a kind of shack, a tumble-down, broken-down mess of a place, and I had a green table. I just thought, "Well, is there a way to bring my life into the fiction I'm writing, will it make a difference?" And the fact is, it doesn't make any difference. It was a kind of experiment which couldn't fail. — Paul Auster

Writing Fiction Quotes By David Foster Wallace

I've always thought of myself as a realist. I can remember fighting with my professors about it in grad school. The world that I live in consists of 250 advertisements a day and any number of unbelievably entertaining options, most of which are subsidized by corporations that want to sell me things. The whole way that the world acts on my nerve endings is bound up with stuff that the guys with the leather patches on their elbows would consider pop or trivial or ephemeral. I use a fair amount of pop stuff in my fiction, but what I mean by it is nothing different than what other people mean in writing about trees and parks and having to walk to the river to get water 100 years ago. It's just the texture of the world I live in. — David Foster Wallace

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ted Chiang

I can't recommend technical writing as a day job for fiction writers because it's going to be hard to write all day and then come home and write fiction. — Ted Chiang

Writing Fiction Quotes By Henry Rollins

I think to write fiction you have to have a powerful need/desire to connect. I can't. Wanting to and not being able to has lead to a lot of misery in my life. — Henry Rollins

Writing Fiction Quotes By Marti Melville

The characters tell their story - I am merely the tool used to record it — Marti Melville

Writing Fiction Quotes By Anuradha Bhattacharyya

Misunderstandings arise only in undefined relationships — Anuradha Bhattacharyya

Writing Fiction Quotes By Charles De Lint

I read and write for character. If I like and can relate to the characters in a story I can enjoy any kind of story. I also want something with a definitive plot - you know, beginning, middle and end--that has forward motion. I don't like series books that leave you hanging after you've finished a book and in my own fiction I try to make sure that there's always an entry point for those who are new to the book as well as long-time readers. — Charles De Lint

Writing Fiction Quotes By Michael Lindsay-Hogg

One of the things I find in writing about people who are dead is that, after a short or long time, no matter how close the relationship was, they become like characters in fiction. — Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Writing Fiction Quotes By John Burnside

With fiction, I tend to get to my desk and start writing. Poetry I write in my head, often while walking, so that my poems have an organic quality, hopefully. — John Burnside

Writing Fiction Quotes By Raymond Chandler

Writers who have the vision and the ability to produce real fiction do not produce unreal fiction. — Raymond Chandler

Writing Fiction Quotes By Kanza Javed

People recover differently. Some change cities, some fall in love and some begin writing. — Kanza Javed

Writing Fiction Quotes By Laurie Foos

What I find interesting and heartening, though, is that there does seem to be a shift in the subject matter being written about by women that is doing well in the culture. We're seeing more women writing dystopian fiction, more women writing novels set post-apocalyptic settings, subjects and themes that used to be dominated by men. — Laurie Foos

Writing Fiction Quotes By Cynthia Ozick

I don't like to read contemporary fiction while writing - I need a sense of isolation, a kind of silence, and I don't want a jumble of other people's voices or visions getting in my way. Nineteenth-century voices don't create static in that silence. — Cynthia Ozick

Writing Fiction Quotes By Philip Roth

There is his religion of art, my young successor: rejecting life! Not living is what he makes his beautiful fiction out of! And you will now be the person he is not living with! — Philip Roth

Writing Fiction Quotes By Craig Hart

In real life people do occasionally act out of character or do things we wouldn't normally expect them to do. In fiction, there should be a good reason for a character to do something outside of the ordinary. — Craig Hart

Writing Fiction Quotes By Wallace Stegner

Ideas, of course, have a place in fiction, and any writer of fiction needs a mind. But ideas are not the best subject matter for fiction. They do not dramatize well. They are, rather, a by-product, something the reader himself is led to formulate after watching the story unfold. The ideas, the generalizations, ought to be implicit in the selection and arrangement of the people and places and actions. They ought to haunt a piece of fiction as a ghost flits past an attic window after dark. — Wallace Stegner

Writing Fiction Quotes By Josh Trank

In older science fiction stories, they had to rely on storytelling as opposed to spectacle. The old run of the 'Twilight Zone,' the star was the writing and the storytelling, and the characters and the twists and the cleverness in the setup and payoff and execution. — Josh Trank

Writing Fiction Quotes By Charles Jackson

Like all his attempts at fiction it would be as personal as a letter - painful to those who knew him, of no interest to those who didn't; precious or self-pitying in spots, in others too clever for its own good; so packed with Shakespeare that it looked as if he worked with a concordance in his lap; so narcissistic that its final effect would be that of the mirrored room which gives back the same image times without count, or the old Post Toastie box of his boyhood with the fascinating picture of a woman and child holding a Post Toastie box with a picture of a woman and child holding a Post Toastie box with a picture of a woman and child holding - - — Charles Jackson

Writing Fiction Quotes By John Gardner

Fiction, like sculpture or painting, begins with a rough
sketch. One gets down the characters and their behavior any
way one can, knowing the sentences will have to be revised,knowing the characters' actions may change. It makes no difference
how clumsy the sketch is - sketches are not supposed
to be polished and elegant. All that matters is that, going over
and over the sketch as if one had all eternity for finishing one's
story, one improves now this sentence, now that, noticing
what changes the new sentences urge, and in the process one
gets the characters and their behavior clearer in one's head,
gradually discovering deeper and deeper implications of the
characters' problems and hopes. — John Gardner

Writing Fiction Quotes By Tom Stoppard

I write fiction because it's a way of making statements I can disown. — Tom Stoppard

Writing Fiction Quotes By Alan Lightman

Another strand of my writing is the importance of the idea. If you think about fiction writing as a spectrum, where at one end of the spectrum in the infrared, are the story tellers, and the people for whom creation of wonderful characters and telling a good story is the most important thing. — Alan Lightman

Writing Fiction Quotes By Ruth Reichl

To me, cooking is man's natural activity. But I think writing is really hard. Certainly writing fiction is the hardest thing I've ever done. — Ruth Reichl

Writing Fiction Quotes By Trisha Sugarek

As a writer, I marinate, speculate, and hibernate. — Trisha Sugarek