Marisha Pessl, (b. October 26): “Some stories you should run from” & other quotes on writing

26 Oct
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Marisha Pessl, born 26 October 1977, is an American writer best known for her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Quotes on writing:

  1. My writing schedule is like any normal job, 9-5, M-F. 
  2. Some stories you should run from while you still have legs.
  3. I haven’t always been a writer and I suppose I tiptoed around the idea of writing full time, because it’s so isolating.
  4. When I’m creating characters, I definitely think of theme songs. Writing for me is very visual, so I sometimes think of it in terms of a movie with a soundtrack, and try to transfer that to words.
  5. Certainly one of the surprising truths of having a book published is realizing that your book is as open to interpretation as an abstract painting. People bring their own beliefs and attitudes to your work, which is thrilling and surprising at the same time.
  6. I think every writer has a book that haunts them, and on some level, every book you write is a reaction to it. Lolita is that book for me. Nabokov’s love of wordplay, descriptive detail, artfully complex plots, and his themes of obsession and lost love, are inspiring.
  7. Never try to change the narrative structure of someone else’s story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better. Increasing the scale, the depth of content, the universal themes. And I don’t care what those themes are – they’re yours to uncover and stand behind – so long as, at the very least, there is courage.

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