Top Writing Novels Quotes

Browse top 50 famous quotes and sayings about Writing Novels by most favorite authors.

Favorite Writing Novels Quotes

1. "What a need we humans have for confession. To a priest, to a friend, to a psychoanalyst, to a relative, to an enemy, even to a torturer when there is no one else, it doesn't matter so long as we speak out what moves within us. Even the most secretive of us do it, if no more than writing in a private diary. And I have often thought as I read stories and novels and poems, especially poems, that they are no more than authors' confessions transformed by their art into something that confesses for us all. Indeed, looking back on my life-long passion for reading, the one activity that has kept me going and given me the most and only lasting pleasure, I think this is the reason that explains why it means so much to me. The books, the authors who matter the most are those who speak to me and speak for me all those things about life I most need to hear as the confession of myself."
Author: Aidan Chambers
2. "I never see a novel as a film while I'm writing it. Mostly because novels and films are so different, and I'm such an internal novelist."
Author: Alice Hoffman
3. "NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity, totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before. To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain; and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination, imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace to its ashes — some of which have a large sale."
Author: Ambrose Bierce
4. "The nature of the epistolary genre was revealed to me: a form of writing devoted to another person. Novels, poems, and so on, were texts into which others were free to enter, or not. Letters, on the other hand, did not exist without the other person, and their very mission, their significance, was the epiphany of the recipient."
Author: Amélie Nothomb
5. "Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence - a lot passes you by - simply because your attention is otherwise diverted."
Author: Anita Brookner
6. "She will be busy writing novels. As soon as she had has gotten far enough away from this frighteningly puritanical country, her mind will be set free, and she will be able to turn all of her observations in richly drawn characters and intricately themed stories." "But what will she eat, dear Grass?" Barnard leaned against the wall, his arms crossing his chest skeptically. "Baguette and red wine, pure art, filthy air. Look at her, she is made of rose petals, and the world will take good care of her. And if it does not, we will have our hearts moved by such an exquisitely gorgeous tragedy."
Author: Anna Godbersen
7. "(Dorothy) Dunnett is the master of the invisible, particularly in her later books. Where is this tension coming from? Why is this scene so agonizing? Why is this scene so emotional? Tension and emotion pervade the books, sometimes almost unbearably, yet when you look at the writing, at the actual words, there's nothing to show that the scene is emotional at all. I think it is because Dunnett layers her novels, meaning that each event is informed by what has come before (and what came before that, and what came before that) but Dunnett doesn't signpost in the text that this is happening, leaving it to the reader to bring the relevant information to the table"
Author: C.S. Pacat
8. "The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people's diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming."
Author: Cheryl Strayed
9. "Well, writing novels is incredibly simple: an author sits down…and writes.Granted, most writers I know are a bit strange.Some, downright weird.But then again, you'd have to be.To spend hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting in front of a computer screen staring at lines of information is pretty tedious. More like a computer programmer. And no matter how cool the Matrix made looking at code seem, computer programmers are even weirder than authors."
Author: Christopher Hopper
10. "I think it's harder than ever to be an artist. I think that you end up, especially as a middle-aged person, you pay such big consequences for saying, 'I'm just going to devote my life to making art,' or 'I'm going to devote my life to writing novels.' You end up with no resources."
Author: Dana Spiotta
11. "Yet I am incapable of writing the only kind of novel which interests me: a book powered with an intellectual or moral passion strong enough to create order, to create a new way of looking at life. It is because I am too diffused. I have decided never to write another novel. I have fifty 'subjects' I could write about; and they would be competent enough. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that competent and informative novels will continue to pour from the publishing houses. I have only one, and the least important, of the qualities necessary to write at all, and that is curiosity. It is the curiosity of the journalist."
Author: Doris Lessing
12. "I write all these remarks with exactly the same feeling as if I were writing a letter to post into the distant past: I am so sure that everything we now take for granted is going to be utterly swept away in the next decade.(So why write novels? Indeed, why! I suppose we have to go on living as if ...)"
Author: Doris Lessing
13. "Douglas Adams did not enjoy writing, and he enjoyed it less as time went on. He was a bestselling, acclaimed, and much-loved novelist who had not set out to be a novelist, and who took little joy in the process of crafting novels. He loved talking to audiences. He liked writing screenplays. He liked being at the cutting edge of technology and inventing"
Author: Douglas Adams
14. "I don't think literature would be possible in a determined world. We might go through the motions but the heart would be out of it. Nobody could then 'smile darkly and ignore the howls.' Even if there were no Church to teach me this, writing two novels would do it. I think the more you write, the less inclined you will be to rely on theories like determinism. Mystery isn't something that is gradually evaporating. It grows along with knowledge."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
15. "Gavin said that writing novels with a PC was supposed to be easier than writing with a typewriter and bond paper, or with a pen and foolscap, or with a chisel and a granite obelisk imported from Greece. I shook my head with pity as he related this canard to me."
Author: Gary Reilly
16. "If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden. The two processes complement each other, creating a complete landscape that I treasure. The green foliage of the trees casts a pleasant shade over the earth, and the wind rustles the leaves, which are sometimes dyed a brilliant gold. Meanwhile, in the garden, buds appear on the flowers, and colorful petals attract bees and butterflies, reminding us of the subtle transition from one season to the next."
Author: Haruki Murakami
17. "A short story I have written long ago would barge into my house in the middle of the night, shake me awake and shout, 'Hey,this is no time for sleeping! You can't forget me, there's still more to write!' Impelled by that voice, I would find myself writing a novel. In this sense, too, my short stories and novels connect inside me in a very natural, organic way."
Author: Haruki Murakami
18. "The easy answer is that writing novels is a lot more fun than practicing law."
Author: Jeffery Deaver
19. "Character is character and voice is voice, which translates nicely from writing novels to writing TV. But the process is different. You have a writer's room, people pitch you jokes and you collaborate."
Author: Jennifer Weiner
20. "I don't know that any writing comes easily, but I certainly get more immersed in novels. I don't think the routine is any different, but fiction tends to pull me further away from my life. When I'm deep in a novel, I don't pay bills and I walk around in one shoe, drinking two-day old coffee, and calling my kids by the wrong names."
Author: Jess Walter
21. "Still, it strikes me that, taken together, they do make an argument, and it is this: the rise of American democracy is bound up with the history of reading and writing, which is one of the reasons the study of American history is inseparable from the study of American literature. In the early United States, literacy rates rose and the price of books and magazines and newspapers fell during the same decades that suffrage was being extended. With everything from constitutions and ballots to almanacs and novels, American wrote and read their way into a political culture inked and stamped and pressed in print."
Author: Jill Lepore
22. "Bad books on writing tell you to "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW", a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery."
Author: Joe Haldeman
23. "I'm writing a movie about Mozart going to New York in the '60s. I've been reading so many novels."
Author: John Cale
24. "It must take a lot of self-discipline,' she said.'Oh, I don't know. I don't have much.' He felt himself about to say again, and unable to resist saying, that 'Dumas, I think it was Dumas, some terrifically prolific Frenchman, said that writing novels is a simple matter - if you write one page a day, you'll write one novel a year, two pages a day, two novels a year, three pages, three novels, and so on. And how long does it take to cover a page with writing? Twenty minutes? An hour? So you see. Very easy really.' ("Novelty")'I don't know,' she said, laughing. 'I can't even bring myself to write a letter.''Oh, now that's hard."
Author: John Crowley
25. "In writing short stories—as in writing novels—take onething at a time. (For some writers, this advice I'm giving mayapply best to a first draft; for others, it may hinder the flow atfirst but be useful when time for revision comes.) Treat a shortpassage of description as a complete unit and make that onesmall unit as perfect as you can; then turn to the next unit—a passage of dialogue, say—and make that as perfect as you can.Move to larger units, the individual scenes that together makeup the plot, and work each scene until it sparkles."
Author: John Gardner
26. "The question one asks of the young writer who wants toknow if he's got what it takes is this: "Is writing novels whatyou want to do? Really want to do?"If the young writer answers, "Yes," then all one can say is:Do it. In fact, he will anyway."
Author: John Gardner
27. "I have always felt a special affinity with V. S. Pritchett. He worked from the ear, primarily, as I do, and he was an all-rounder, writing short stories, novels, memoir, travelogue, critical biography. He lived to be almost 100, and he never stopped, and his work is unified by a great generosity of spirit."
Author: Kevin Barry
28. "Sometimes I ask myself if writing novels is even respectable."
Author: Lorrie Moore
29. "I love writing novels, even if only a few thousand people read them. Here's my soul; I hope it appeals to your soul."
Author: Mark O'Donnell
30. "Writing my own novels in the '90s...I never imagined that in ten years, science and rationality would require explanation and defense in a world rocked and ruled by religious fervor."
Author: Mary Doria Russell
31. "After these three novels I gave up writing novels for a time; I was dissatisfied with romantic doom, yet didn't see much way around it."
Author: Nicholas Mosley
32. "One good reason for writing novels based on your life is that you have something to read in old age when you've forgotten what happened."
Author: Nina Bawden
33. "Well, writing was what I wanted to do, it was always what I wanted to do. I had novels to write so I wrote them."
Author: Octavia Butler
34. "I continued writing the bad plays which fortunately nobody would produce, just as no one did me the unkindness of publishing my early novels."
Author: Patrick White
35. "I developed the habit of writing novels behind a closed door, or at my uncle's, on the dining table."
Author: Patrick White
36. "In everything I've written, the crime has always just been an occasion to write about other things. I don't have a picture of myself as writing crime novels. I like fairly strong narratives, but it's a way of getting a plot moving."
Author: Peter Temple
37. "In writing, I'm totally anti-plans of any kind. All my attempts to plan and plot novels have come to grief, and in expensive ways."
Author: Peter Temple
38. "If I really considered myself a writer, I wouldn't be writing screenplays. I'd be writing novels."
Author: Quentin Tarantino
39. "I was a political journalist; I came to writing novels through an interest in politics and power."
Author: Robert Harris
40. "Flannery O'Connor's writing is quite dark, but it is so because she believes in the Devil, and in the Fall, and in humanity as it is. Novels that avoid the horror of human existence in this time between Eden and New Jerusalem can reinforce a Christian's tendency to Pelagianism. The Christian gospel isn't "clean" and "safe" and "family-friendly." It comes to its narrative climax at a bloody Place of the Skull and in a borrowed grave.(http://bit.ly/KZS8Zh)"
Author: Russell Moore
41. "...it's worth pointing out that [Herman Melville] worked in [the New York Custom House] as a deputy customs inspector between 1866 and 1885. Nineteen years, and he never got a raise - four dollars a day, six days a week. He was by then a washed-up writer, forgotten and poor. I used to find this subject heartbreaking, a waste: the greatest living American author was forced to spend his days writing tariff reports instead of novels. But now, knowing what I know about the sleaze of the New York Custom House, and the honorable if bitter decency with which Melville did his job, I have come to regard literature's loss as the republic's gain. Great writers are a dime a dozen in New York. But an honest customs inspector in the Gilded Age? Unheard of."
Author: Sarah Vowell
42. "I entered a poem in a poetry contest around 1987, and the poem won and I received $1,000 for it. That made me realize that maybe what I was writing was worth reading to people. After that, for some reason, I turned to novels and I've written mainly novels ever since."
Author: Sharon Creech
43. "I'd probably still be a financial journalist now if it weren't for writing novels. Mmm. Fun! I'm much happier writing novels!"
Author: Sophie Kinsella
44. "I want a career writing these novels that I can be proud of. And then I want one as a screenwriter."
Author: Stephan Pastis
45. "The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery, and the execution of nonconformists, and for millennia those writings were used to rationalize the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals, and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals. Humanitarian reforms such as the elimination of cruel punishment, the dissemination of empathy-inducing novels, and the abolition of slavery were met with fierce opposition in their time by ecclesiastical authorities and their apologists. The elevation of parochial values to the realm of the sacred is a license to dismiss other people's interests, and an imperative to reject the possibility of compromise."
Author: Steven Pinker
46. "I studied philosophy, religious studies, and English. My training was writing four full-length novels and hiring an editor to tear them apart. I had enough money to do that, and then rewriting and rewriting and rewriting."
Author: Ted Dekker
47. "Writing novels is the hardest thing I've ever done, including digging irrigation ditches."
Author: Thomas Harris
48. "But to continue the story of my professional experiences. I made one pound ten and six by my first review; and I bought a Persian cat with the proceeds. Then I grew ambitious. A Persian cat is all very well, I said; but a Persian cat is not enough. I must have a motor car. And it was thus that I became a novelist--for it is a very strange thing that people will give you a motor car if you will tell them a story. It is a still stranger thing that there is nothing so delightful in the world as telling stories. It is far pleasanter than writing reviews of famous novels."
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "I am a feminist because I dislike everything that feminism implies. I desire an end to the whole business, the demands for equality, the suggestion of sex warfare, the very name feminist. I want to be about the work in which my real interests like, the writing of novels and so forth. But while inequality exists, while injustice is done and opportunity denied to the great majority of women, I shall have to be a feminist. And I shan't be happy till I get . . . a society in which there is no distinction of persons either male or female, but a supreme regard for the importance of the human being. And when that dream is a reality, I will say farewell to feminism, as to any disbanded but victorious army, with honour for its heroes, gratitude for its sacrifice, and profound relief that the hour for its necessity has passed."
Author: Winifred Holtby
50. "Some writers are the kind of solo violinists who need complete silence to tune their instruments. Others want to hear every member of the orchestra—they'll take a cue from a clarinet, from an oboe, even. I am one of those. My writing desk is covered in open novels. I read lines to swim in a certain sensibility, to strike a particular note, to encourage rigour when I'm too sentimental, to bring verbal ease when I'm syntactically uptight. I think of reading like a balanced diet; if your sentences are baggy, too baroque, cut back on fatty Foster Wallace, say, and pick up Kafka, as roughage. If your aesthetic has become so refined it is stopping you from placing a single black mark on white paper, stop worrying so much about what Nabokov would say; pick up Dostoyevsky, patron saint of substance over style."
Author: Zadie Smith

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