Lee Child (b. October 29): “Writing is show business for shy people” & other quotes

29 Oct


Lee Child, born 29 October 1954, is a British thriller writer best known for his Jack Reacher novels.

10 quotes on writing:

  1. Don’t get it right – get it written.
  2. Writing is show business for shy people.
  3. It’s a kind of Zen question: if you write a book and no one reads it, is it really a book?
  4. The way to write a thriller is to ask a question at the beginning, and answer it at the end.
  5. Read, read, read. You can’t get anywhere unless you’re an obsessive, continuous reader of other stuff.
  6. Writers become writers because they love words and language, and attempting a non-native style is all part of the fun.
  7. I have the ‘thing’ worked out – the trick or the surprise or the pivotal fact. Then I just start somewhere and let the story work itself out.
  8. Male authors always take care to make their heroes at least one inch taller than they are, and considerably more muscular. Just as female authors give their heroines better hair and slimmer thighs.
  9. I write in the afternoon, from about 12 until 6 or 7. I use an upstairs room as my office. Once I get going I keep at it, and it usually takes about six months from the first blank screen until ‘The End’.
  10. So, how to stay inside the world of entertainment without actually getting another job? I felt the only logical answer was to become a novelist. So I wrote the first book – driven by some very real feelings of desperation – and it worked.

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