Top Writing Fiction Quotes

Browse top 115 famous quotes and sayings about Writing Fiction by most favorite authors.

Favorite Writing Fiction Quotes

1. "Day after day, week after week; writing great fiction takes time, emotion, skill and effort."
Author: Amaya Ellman
2. "I'm very keenly aware that there aren't very many women writing literary fiction in Ireland and so that gives me a sense that what I say matters, in some small way."
Author: Anne Enright
3. "If creative fiction writing is a process of translating an abstraction into the concrete, there are three possible grades of such writing: translating an old (known) abstraction (theme or thesis) through the medium of old fiction means (that is, characters, events or situations used before for that same purpose, that same translation) -- this is most of the popular trash; translating an old abstraction through new, original fiction means -- this is most of the good literature; creating a new, original abstraction and translating it through new, original means. This, as far as I know, is only me -- my kind of fiction writing."
Author: Ayn Rand
4. "A painter," he said, as though the word were an insult. "I'm a writer.""You're a writer? I'm a writer.""What do you write?""Stories. Books. A book. Fiction.""Fiction. Pfft. That's not writing.""What do you write?""I write the truth.""Fiction is true. It doesn't have to be factual to be true.""Says you. Have you been published?""As a matter of fact I have. My novel sold over 65,000 copies.""All to your mom.""My mom didn't even know about it."
Author: Ben Monopoli
5. "The resulting texts always took a narrative term, enigmatic at first but ultimately explicit and often premonitory. The semantic distribution of these basic elements diverted them from their original meaning, thus revealing their real significance. Henceforth, every form of writing will consist of an operation of decoding, of contamination, and of sense perversion. All this because all language is essentially mystification, and everything is fiction."
Author: Brion Gysin
6. "When writing fiction, you learn to only put things and characters in, that are going to progress your story. There is something to be learned about that approach in real life"
Author: Carl Henegan
7. "I went to Colby College in Waterville, ME and did picture it when I was writing 'Cum Laude.' So many of the physical details were included, like the loop where people jogged. The story of the chapel is also borrowed from Colby... but the students and cast of characters are fictional."
Author: Cecily Von Ziegesar
8. "It's part of a cycle of stories I'm writing where I deconstruct classic science fiction."
Author: Cory Doctorow
9. "I was first introduced to Kafka's writing during my compulsory army-service basic training. During that period, Kafka's fiction felt hyperrealistic."
Author: Etgar Keret
10. "Then I discovered I loved writing poetry more than fiction."
Author: George Murray
11. "Memory is like fiction; or else it's fiction that's like memory. This really came home to me once I started writing fiction, that memory seemed a kind of fiction, or vice versa. Either way, no matter how hard you try to put everything neatly into shape, the context wanders this way and that, until finally the context isn't even there anymore. You're left with this pile of kittens lolling all over one another. Warm with life, hopelessly unstable. And then to put these things out as saleable items, you call them finished products - at times it's downright embarrassing just to think of it. Honestly, it can make me blush."
Author: Haruki Murakami
12. "I craved a form of naive realism. I paid special attention, I craned my readerly neck whenever a London street I knew was mentioned, or a style of frock, a real public person, even a make of car. Then, I thought, I had a measure, I could guage the quality of the writing by its accuracy, by the extent to which it aligned with my own impressions, or improved upon them. I was fortunate that most English writing of the time was in the form of undemanding social documentary. I wasn't impressed by those writers (they were spread between South and North America) who infiltrated their own pages as part of the cast, determined to remind poor reader that all the characters and even they themselves were pure inventions and the there was a difference between fiction and life. Or, to the contrary, to insist that life was a fiction anyway. Only writers, I thought, were ever in danger of confusing the two."
Author: Ian McEwan
13. "We've inherited many ideas about writing that emerged in the eighteenth century, especially an interest in literature as both an expression and an exploration of the self. This development ? part of what distinguishes the "modern" from the "early modern" ? has shaped the work of many of our most celebrated authors, whose personal experiences indelibly and visibly mark their writing. It's fair to say that the fiction and poetry of many of the finest writers of the past century or so ? and I'm thinking here of Conrad, Proust, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Plath, Ellison, Lowell, Sexton, Roth, and Coetzee, to name but a few ? have been deeply autobiographical. The link between the life and the work is one of the things we're curious about and look for when we pick up the latest book by a favorite author."
Author: James Shapiro
14. "Expressing political opinion can be a powerful way to establish a character's voice when writing fiction."
Author: Jen Lancaster
15. "I hope to keep writing journalism as long as I write fiction; it's afforded me such amazing adventures and opportunities. It does take a lot of time, so it's hard to do both at once, but I try to do a big journalism piece every couple of years, and I'll hopefully continue with that."
Author: Jennifer Egan
16. "It was not in my nature to be an assertive person. I was used to looking to others for guidance, for influence, sometimes for the most basic cues of life. And yet writing stories is one of the most assertive things a person can do. Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself. Even among the most reluctant and doubtful of writers, this willfulness must emerge. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, "Listen to me."
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
17. "Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound."
Author: John Gardner
18. "Writer's block comes from the feeling that one is doing thewrong thing or doing the right thing badly. Fiction written forthe wrong reason may fail to satisfy the motive behind it andthus may block the writer, as I've said; but there is no wrongmotive for writing fiction. At least in some instances, goodfiction has come from the writer's wish to be loved, his wishto take revenge, his wish to work out his psychological woes,his wish for money, and so on. No motive is too low for art;finally it's the art, not the motive, that we judge."
Author: John Gardner
19. "See, I have no journalism in my background, so I wasn't practised at research or writing non-fiction, nor at handling the truth in a journalistic way. Journalists know when to call a halt and write something, but I kept on looking for answers."
Author: John Sladek
20. "Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea."
Author: John Updike
21. "In writing non-fiction about people who are living, you are always walking a fine line, carrying a burden to be fair that, in my opinion, should always be there."
Author: Jonathan Coleman
22. "I would, however, start writing fiction about 10 years before I actually did, because it's such great fun to do, many times more creative than nonfiction."
Author: Judith Krantz
23. "I like going back and writing fiction."
Author: Julia Sweeney
24. "First of all, writing at best - certainly fiction writing - more and more I think is magic."
Author: Kathy Acker
25. "I was writing fiction in my 20s but in a pretty undisciplined way - late at night, maybe, after I'd peeled myself from the walls of a nightclub and crawled home along the gutters. But I slowly became more serious and more devout in my work, and I fell seriously in love with the short story form."
Author: Kevin Barry
26. "That was another thing people used to be able to do, which they can't do anymore: enjoy in their heads events which hadn't happened yet and might never occur. My mother was good at that. Someday my father would stop writing science fiction, and write something a whole lot of people wanted to read instead. And we would get a new house in a beautiful city, and nice clothes, and so on. She used to make me wonder why God had ever gone to all the trouble of creating reality. Quoth Mandarax:Imagination is as good as many voyages - and how much cheaper! - GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS"
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
27. "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
28. "Writing nonfiction has been my most serious education, and for all those years it kept me from even glancing in the direction of despair."
Author: Marilynne Robinson
29. "Interviewer: Have you ever considered writing nonfiction?Mary Doria Russell: Oh, honey, I did! Let's see...There was "A Reconsideration of the Evidence for Cannibalism at the Krapina Neandertal Site." That was a big hit. And who could ever forget "Cutmarks on the Engis II Calvarium"? Then there was "Browridge Development as a Function of Bending Stress in the Supraorbital Region." I got tons of reprint requests for that one.Trust me fiction is better."
Author: Mary Doria Russell
30. "I've started a company, called Tall Girl Productions, and we've got our first project that is purely producing, not writing, with a writer named Evan Daugherty. It's for NBC, it's called 'Afterthought,' and it's science fiction-ish. That's fun."
Author: Melissa Rosenberg
31. "There's a lot of personal stuff that can go into songwriting but there's also a lot of dramatization and fictionalization. You have to do that to make a good song."
Author: Norah Jones
32. "I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and started writing science fiction around the same time."
Author: Octavia Butler
33. "As often I have been a science fiction writer writing science fiction for the community of science fiction readers, I am also, for good or ill, an American writing American literature to an American audience. Most fundamentally, though, I am a human being writing human literature to a human audience."
Author: Orson Scott Card
34. "Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious."[Ten rules for writing fiction, The Guardian, 20 February 2010 (with Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, and AL Kennedy)]"
Author: P.D. James
35. "But: all journeys were return journeys. The farther one traveled, the nakeder one got, until, towards the end, ceasing to be animated by any scene, one was most oneself, a man in a bed surrounded by empty bottles. The man who says, "I've got a wife and kids" is far from home; at home he speaks of Japan. But he does not know - how could he? - that the scenes changing in the train window from Victoria Station to Tokyo Central are nothing compared to the change in himself; and travel writing, which cannot but be droll at the outset, moves from journalism to fiction, arriving promptly as the Kodama Echo at autobiography. From there any further travel makes a beeline to confession, the embarrassed monologue in a deserted bazaar. The anonymous hotel room in a strange city..."
Author: Paul Theroux
36. "When I'm writing about reality, I'm writing about death. When I'm writing fiction, I'm writing about life."
Author: Ralph Peters
37. "In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction."
Author: Ray Bradbury
38. "Ivanov's fear was of a literary nature. That is, it was the fear that afflicts most citizens who, one fine (or dark) day, choose to make the practice of writing, and especially the practice of fiction writing, an integral part of their lives. Fear of being no good. Also fear of being overlooked. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear that one's efforts and striving will come to nothing. Fear of the step that leaves no trace. Fear of the forces of chance and nature that wipe away shallow prints. Fear of dining alone and unnoticed. Fear of going unrecognized. Fear of failure and making a spectacle of oneself. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear of forever dwelling in the hell of bad writers."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
39. "Writing fiction is... an endless and always defeated effort to capture some quality of life without killing it."
Author: Rose Wilder Lane
40. "Writing historical fiction has many common traits with writing sci-fi or fantasy books. The past is another country - a very different world - and historical readers want to see, smell and touch what it was like living there."
Author: Sara Sheridan
41. "So much emotion goes into writing fiction."
Author: Stephen Carter
42. "Of course, the writer can impose control; It's just a really shitty idea. Writing controlled fiction is called "plotting." Buckling your seatbelt and letting the story take over, however... that is called "storytelling." Storytelling is as natural as breathing; plotting is the literary version of artificial respiration."
Author: Stephen King
43. "Writing fiction, especially a long work of fiction can be difficult, lonely job; it's like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub. There's plenty of opportunity for self-doubt."
Author: Stephen King
44. "This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do -- not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit."Stephen King, On Writing"
Author: Stephen King
45. "I now understand that writing fiction was a seed planted in my soul, though I would not be ready to grow that seed for a long time."
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
46. "Time of course has showed the question up in all its young illogic. We can justify any apologia simply by calling life a successive rejection of personalities. No apologia I s any more than a romance—half a fiction—in which all the successive identities are taken on and rejected by the writer as a function of linear time are treated as separate characters. The writing itself even constitutes another rejection, another "character" added to the past. So we do sell our souls: paying them away to history in little installments. It isn't so much to pay for eyes clear enough to see past the fiction of continuity, the fiction of cause and effect, the fiction of a humanized history endowed with "reason."
Author: Thomas Pynchon
47. "Rules such as "Write what you know," and "Show, don't tell," while doubtlessly grounded in good sense, can be ignored with impunity by any novelist nimble enough to get away with it. There is, in fact, only one rule in writing fiction: Whatever works, works."
Author: Tom Robbins
48. "Begin your writing, fiction or article, where the action begins. This action can be internal (e.g., an important insight or personal decision) or external (e.g., a murder or calamity). Begin too early, you lose your reader. Begin too late, you lose your story."
Author: Walt Shiel
49. "Don't look back until you've written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in ... the edit."[Ten rules for writing fiction (part two), The Guardian, 20 February 2010]"
Author: Will Self
50. "It's not the word made flesh we want in writing, in poetry and fiction, but the flesh made word"
Author: William H. Gass

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...the sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him..." - C.S. Lewis: Weight of Glory"
Author: C.S. Lewis

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