Tag Archives: craft

Sam Shepard (b. November 5): “Without writing I’d feel completely useless” & other quotes on writing

5 Nov
shepard

pinterest.com/pin/39406565465097051/

Sam Shepard, born 5 November 1943, is an author, playwright, actor and director. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Right Stuff

Quotes on writing:

  1. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.
  2. When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.
  3. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.
  4. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described. 
  5. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.
  6. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.

Jeffrey Archer (b. April 15): “There’s no substitute for reading great novelists.”

15 Apr

archer

Jeffrey Archer, born 15 April 1940, is an English author and former politician. His books, starting with Kane and Abel, have sold at least 250 million copies worldwide.

Jeffrey Archer’s top 10 writing tips:

  1. Make time. “Decide when you’re going to write. Don’t be casual and only do it as and when it suits you. Don’t think you can write a novel after you’ve done a hard day’s work, it’s insulting to those professional novelists who spend their time doing nothing else.” 
  2. Be disciplined. “For example, I write from 6-8am, 10-12am, 2-4pm, 6-8pm. I keep that routine up for 40-50 days and handwrite every word. I then take a break and go back to it again a month later.” 
  3. Write what you know. “Don’t do vampires, wizards or ghosts because they’re in fashion. Jane Austen wrote about family life in a small village and gave us six of the greatest novels ever written.” 
  4. Get some fresh air. “I go for two long walks between sessions, for two reasons, physical and mental. The plot will buzz around in your mind while you are walking, continually churning over, which it can’t be while you’re actually writing.” 
  5. Do several drafts. “Do not imagine that the first draft of your book is the one that will be published. My latest novel, The Sins of the Father, was 14 drafts and took approximately 1000 hours.” 
  6. Be flexible. “If you think of something better half-way through the writing process, don’t be frightened to go back and incorporate it or even change the story completely.” 
  7. Seek opinions from professionals. “When you want an opinion on what you consider the finished script, seek it from a professional editor, an agent or someone you don’t know, through a third party. Do not seek an opinion from your wife, husband, partner, mistress or close friend. They will lie.” 
  8. Read the greats. “There is no substitute for reading great novelists, and instead of just enjoying their craft, think carefully about how they’ve achieved it. Do they spend pages on description, do they move the story on quickly, how do they make you turn the page? It’s all there in front of you if you look carefully, so at least when you try to do it, you have analysed how successful authors have managed it in the past.” 
  9. Stay fit. “If the body is a physical wreck – too much drinking, smoking, late nights – how can you expect the written word to be anything less than drunken, useless and tired?” 
  10. Don’t give up. “My first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was turned down by 14 publishers, ended up with an advance of £3,000 and on first printing took a year to sell 3,000 copies. It is still extremely rare for a first book to be a best-seller.”

Sam Shepard (b. November 5): “Without writing I’d feel completely useless” & other quotes on writing

5 Nov
shepard

pinterest.com/pin/39406565465097051/

Sam Shepard, born 5 November 1943, is an author, playwright, actor and director. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Right Stuff

Quotes on writing:

  1. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.
  2. When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.
  3. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.
  4. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described. 
  5. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.
  6. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.

William Zinsser (b. October 7): “Writing is a craft not an art” & other quotes on writing

7 Oct
Zinsser1_CROP

pinterest.com/pin/39406565464926822/

William Zinsser, born 7 October 1922, is an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He is best known for the book, On Writing Well.

10 quotes on writing:

  1. Writing is a craft not an art.
  2. You learn to write by writing.
  3. Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.
  4. Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost.
  5. Writers must constantly ask: what am I trying to say? Surprisingly often, they don’t know.
  6. Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.
  7. Nothing has replaced the writer. He or she is still stuck with the same old job of saying something that other people will want to read.
  8. The reader will notice if you are putting on airs. Readers want the person who is talking to them to sound genuine. Therefore a fundamental rule is: be yourself.
  9. Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.
  10. Many people assume that professional writers don’t need to rewrite; the words just fall in place. On the contrary, careful writers can’t stop fiddling.

Jeffrey Archer (b. April 15): “There’s no substitute for reading great novelists.”

15 Apr

archer

Jeffrey Archer, born 15 April 1940, is an English author and former politician. His books, starting with Kane and Abel, have sold at least 250 million copies worldwide.

Jeffrey Archer’s top 10 writing tips:

  1. Make time. “Decide when you’re going to write. Don’t be casual and only do it as and when it suits you. Don’t think you can write a novel after you’ve done a hard day’s work, it’s insulting to those professional novelists who spend their time doing nothing else.” 
  2. Be disciplined. “For example, I write from 6-8am, 10-12am, 2-4pm, 6-8pm. I keep that routine up for 40-50 days and handwrite every word. I then take a break and go back to it again a month later.” 
  3. Write what you know. “Don’t do vampires, wizards or ghosts because they’re in fashion. Jane Austen wrote about family life in a small village and gave us six of the greatest novels ever written.” 
  4. Get some fresh air. “I go for two long walks between sessions, for two reasons, physical and mental. The plot will buzz around in your mind while you are walking, continually churning over, which it can’t be while you’re actually writing.” 
  5. Do several drafts. “Do not imagine that the first draft of your book is the one that will be published. My latest novel, The Sins of the Father, was 14 drafts and took approximately 1000 hours.” 
  6. Be flexible. “If you think of something better half-way through the writing process, don’t be frightened to go back and incorporate it or even change the story completely.” 
  7. Seek opinions from professionals. “When you want an opinion on what you consider the finished script, seek it from a professional editor, an agent or someone you don’t know, through a third party. Do not seek an opinion from your wife, husband, partner, mistress or close friend. They will lie.” 
  8. Read the greats. “There is no substitute for reading great novelists, and instead of just enjoying their craft, think carefully about how they’ve achieved it. Do they spend pages on description, do they move the story on quickly, how do they make you turn the page? It’s all there in front of you if you look carefully, so at least when you try to do it, you have analysed how successful authors have managed it in the past.” 
  9. Stay fit. “If the body is a physical wreck – too much drinking, smoking, late nights – how can you expect the written word to be anything less than drunken, useless and tired?” 
  10. Don’t give up. “My first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was turned down by 14 publishers, ended up with an advance of £3,000 and on first printing took a year to sell 3,000 copies. It is still extremely rare for a first book to be a best-seller.”

Sam Shepard (b. November 5): “Without writing I’d feel completely useless” & other quotes on writing

5 Nov
shepard

pinterest.com/pin/39406565465097051/

Sam Shepard, born 5 November 1943, is an author, playwright, actor and director. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Right Stuff

Quotes on writing:

  1. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.
  2. When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.
  3. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.
  4. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described. 
  5. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.
  6. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.

William Zinsser (b. October 7): “Writing is a craft not an art” & other quotes on writing

7 Oct
Zinsser1_CROP

pinterest.com/pin/39406565464926822/

William Zinsser, born 7 October 1922, is an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He is best known for the book, On Writing Well.

10 quotes on writing:

  1. Writing is a craft not an art.
  2. You learn to write by writing.
  3. Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.
  4. Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost.
  5. Writers must constantly ask: what am I trying to say? Surprisingly often, they don’t know.
  6. Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.
  7. Nothing has replaced the writer. He or she is still stuck with the same old job of saying something that other people will want to read.
  8. The reader will notice if you are putting on airs. Readers want the person who is talking to them to sound genuine. Therefore a fundamental rule is: be yourself.
  9. Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.
  10. Many people assume that professional writers don’t need to rewrite; the words just fall in place. On the contrary, careful writers can’t stop fiddling.
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