Category: on writing

You can’t write well with only the nice …

You can’t write well with only the nice parts of your character, and only about nice things. And I don’t want even to try anymore. I want to use everything, including hate and envy and lust and fear.

All I ever wanted to do was write the best dam…

All I ever wanted to do was write the best damn poem that I could write — a poem that was true and honest and the very best I could write artistically and linguistically.

The job of the writer is not to supply the ide…

The job of the writer is not to supply the ideas, it is to find the ideas.

Good fiction is not preaching. If a writer is …

Good fiction is not preaching. If a writer is trying hard to convince you of something, then he or she should stick to nonfiction.

No writing is wasted: the words you can’…

No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.

If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most…

If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is… If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us… Yours enlarges the circle.

You learn to write by writing, and by reading …

You learn to write by writing, and by reading and thinking about how writers have created their characters and invented their stories. If you are not a reader, don’t even think about being a writer.

Writers age more quickly than athletes.

Writers age more quickly than athletes.

Transitions are critically important. I want t…

Transitions are critically important. I want the reader to turn the page without thinking she’s turning the page. It must flow seamlessly.

Writers—by which I mean members of the communi…

Writers—by which I mean members of the community of literature—are emblems of the persistence (and the necessity) of individual vision.