Ed McBain (b. October 15): “It’s a matter of style” & other quotes on writing

15 Oct

Ed McBain (born 15 October 1926, died 6 July 2005) was an American author and screenwriter, who also wrote as Evan Hunter. He wrote for five decades, penning hundreds of novels, including The 87th Precinct Series. He also wrote screenplays such as The Birds for Alfred Hitchcock. He was the first American to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association’s highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America’s prestigious Grand Master Award.

Six quotes on writing:

  1. A detective sees death in all its various forms at least five times a week. 
  2. Changing writing styles is like an actor taking on a different part.
  3. Readers are what it’s all about, aren’t they? If not, why am I writing?
  4. Depending on what I’m working on, I come to the writing desk with entirely different mindsets. When I change from one to the other, it’s as if another writer is on the scene.
  5. I wanted to be an artist. I was studying art. I wanted to be a great painter. When I went into the Navy, there wasn’t much to draw at sea. So I began writing, and I began reading a lot.
  6. I never take ideas from the headlines. I feel that if a story is good enough, a real story that is, then it’s already been covered by the media, and if it’s not good enough, why would I want to bother with it?

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