NaNoWriMo Inspiration (Day 26): Inspirational quotes about writing you've (possibly) never heard before.
FOUR DAYS, my friends. You are so close to the end you may be able to smell its sweet scent.
FOUR DAYS, my dearests. That still equates to be over 5000 words left to write. But that's a fraction of what you've already achieved. Personally, I've struggled more this year than I have on my previous two years of NaNoWriMo. I don't know why. I'm hoping I'll have some time to figure it out in December, as for now I just need to focus on getting those last words written.
The following are quotes by famous writers. Before you roll your eyes and sigh, I want to explain that these are not quotes I found from a Google search, but rather ones I've stumbled upon by reading books or researching an author. I have been burrowing them away in my own private Evernote document to prompt me to write again on such a day as this. I therefore think and hope they're more unusual than the quotes you've already heard a hundred times before.
Here we go...
I recently bought my first Wallace Stegner novel and am looking forward to reading it while I'm in Cape Town. A little research of the author led me to the following quote, which I love:
"In fiction I think we should have no agenda but to tell the truth." Wallace Stegner
This quote struck an instant chord, I found it in the preface to a collection of her short stories:
"The people and the places and the events are real to the author, and that is all that matters." Daphne du Maurier
Don't forget to have fun says one of my favourite modern authors: "Writing is storytelling, and storytelling, after all, is play." Naomi Alderman
Have you spent November working on a thriller? Here is what one of the world's most famous thriller authors has to say about the way you can use real life to come up with a fantastical thrill-packed plot: "
You must know thrilling things before you can write about them. Imagination alone isn't enough, but stories you hear from friends or read in the papers can be built up by a fertile imagination and a certain amount of research and documentation into incidents that will also ring true in fiction." Ian Fleming
According to Evelyn Waugh, "...an artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition."
You may have heard Anaïs Nin say the following about the importance of spontaneity "How creative the unconscious can be if one allows it to work spontaneously", but have you heard her elaborate in the following way?
"To achieve perfection in writing while retaining naturalness it was important to write a great deal, to write fluently, as the pianist practices the piano, rather than to correct constantly one page until it withers. To write continuously, to try over and over again to capture a certain mood, a certain experience. Intensive correcting may lead to monotony, to working on dead matter, whereas continuing to write and to write until perfection is achieved through repetition is a way to elude this monotony, to avoid performing an autopsy. Sheer playing of scales, practice, repetition — then by the time one is ready to write a story or a novel a great deal of natural distillation and softing has been accomplished." Anaïs Nin
Here is some advice on best how to capture someone's character from one of England's finest authors:
"A useful trick is to look back upon such a person with half-closed eyes, fully describing certain characteristics. I am left with about two-thirds of a human being and can get to work. A likeness isn’t aimed at, and couldn’t be obtained, because a man’s only himself amid the particular circumstances of his life and not amid other circumstances." E.M. Forster
When you're stuck on a scene, here is some advice from a much-loved writer:"
"Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page." Margaret Atwood
I often have to tell myself what I'm writing will never ever be read, just to get over the fear of realising what I want to write. Here are some tips on this if you're struggling to write what you really, really want:
"You are writing to a friend. Write privately, not publicly, without fear or timidity, right to the end of the letter, as if it was never going to be published… Don't rehearse too much, the story will develop as you go along… Remember not to think of the reading public. It will put you off." Muriel Spark
And perhaps most poignantly as we near the end of this challenge and possibly the first draft stage of your novel, here is a quote about how you can tell when a book is truly finished:
"There should be a point where you say, the way you would with a child, this isn’t mine anymore." Alice Munro
Not long to go now! Find more NaNoWriMo Inspiration here.
Frances M. Thompson
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