Tom Clancy (b. Apr 12): “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

12 Apr

Tom Clancy (born 12 April 1947, died 1 October 2013) was an American author known for his espionage, military and techno thrillers. Clancy’s breakthrough novel was The Hunt for Red October. Ten of Clancy’s books reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 50 million copies of his books have been sold, and three made into films.

Top Tom Clancy quotes:

  1. Collaboration on a book is the ultimate unnatural act.
  2. The only way to do all the things you’d like to do is to read.
  3. The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
  4. Books and movies are different art forms with different rules. And because of that, they never translate exactly.
  5. Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each 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.
  6. Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.
  7. I think about the characters I’ve created and then I sit down and start typing and see what they will do. There’s a lot of subconscious thought that goes on. It amazes me to find out, a few chapters later, why I put someone in a certain place when I did. It’s spooky.
  8. Two questions form the foundation of all novels: “What if?” and “What next?” (A third question, “What now?”, is one the author asks himself every 10 minutes or so; but it’s more a cry than a question.) Every novel begins with the speculative question, What if “X” happened? That’s how you start.


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