Top Fiction Writing Quotes

Browse top 81 famous quotes and sayings about Fiction Writing by most favorite authors.

Favorite Fiction Writing Quotes

1. "Write in pictures. With your words, let the reader see not letters, but images. Be specific about every detail, but don't describe it--make it happen on the page, if you were writing fiction, or make it happen over again, if you were writing about history or some recent event."
Author: A.A. Patawaran
2. "I have for a long time loved fabulist, imaginative fiction, such as the writing of Italo Calvino, Jose Saramago, Michael Bulgakov, and Salman Rushdie. I also like the magic realist writers, such as Borges and Marquez, and feel that interesting truths can be learned about our world by exploring highly distorted worlds."
Author: Alan Lightman
3. "Imagination, it turns out, is a great deal like reporting in your own head. Here is a paradox of fiction-writing. You are crafting something from nothing, which means, in one sense, that none of it is true. Yet in the writing, and perhaps in the reading, some of a character's actions or lines are truer than others."
Author: Amy Waldman
4. "Francie was ten years old when she first found an outlet in writing. What she wrote was of little consequence. What was important was that the attempt to write stories kept her straight on the dividing line between truth and fiction. If she had not found this outlet in writing, she might have grown up to be a tremendous liar."
Author: Betty Smith
5. "If you can read the book and say, ‘Space Marines, YEEEAAAHHH!' That's Military Science Fiction." (Brigham Young writing lecture, March 2012)"
Author: Brandon Sanderson
6. "Writing fiction, there are no limits to what you write as long as it increases the value of the paper you are writing on."
Author: Buddy Ebsen
7. "[...]i'm not a leftist trying to smuggle in my evil message by the nefarious means of fantasy novels. I'm a science fiction and fantasy geek. I love this stuff. And when I write my novels, I'm not writing them to make political points. I'm writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I'm creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have [...] I'm trying to say I've invented this world that I think is really cool and I have these really big stories to tell in it and one of the ways that I find to make that interesting is to think about it politically. If you want to do that too, that's fantastic. But if not, isn't this a cool monster?"
Author: China Miéville
8. "Workshop Hermeticism, fiction for which the highest praise involves the words 'competent,' 'finished,' 'problem-free,' fiction over which Writing-Program pre- and proscriptions loom with the enclosing force of horizons: no character without Freudian trauma in accessible past, without near-diagnostic physical description; no image undissolved into regulation Updikean metaphor; no overture without a dramatized scene to 'show' what's 'told'; no denouement prior to an epiphany whose approach can be charted by and Freitag on any Macintosh."
Author: David Foster Wallace
9. "My approach to 'Star Trek' was, 'I know science fiction, and I know screen writing.' That was very arrogant of me, but you really need to be a little bit arrogant to think that what you have to say is good enough to justify the expense of hundreds of thousands - now millions of dollars - to make an episode of the TV show."
Author: David Gerrold
10. "Fiction writing feels more honest to me."
Author: David James Duncan
11. "On the other hand, now that I'm not dependent on fiction for my income, I've been writing more short stories despite the fact that there's no real paying market for short horror other than Cemetery Dance."
Author: George Stephen
12. "The finest SF comes to grips with life's mysteries, with our resentments against our own natures and our limited societies. It does so by asking basic questions in the artful, liberating way that is unique to this form of writing. Echoes of it are found in other forms of fiction - in the novel of ideas, in the historical novel, in the writings of the great philosophers and scientists; but the best SF does this all more searchingly, by taking what is in most people only a moment of wonder and rebellion against the arbitrariness of existence and making of it an art enriched by knowledge and possibility, expressing our deepest human longing to penetrate into the dark heart of the unknown."
Author: George Zebrowski
13. "I'm such a huge fan of fan fiction, to me it's a great way for readers to become writers. It's like putting the training wheels on for writing."
Author: Hugh Howey
14. "I tend to read more nonfiction, really, because when I'm writing I don't like to read other fiction."
Author: Irvine Welsh
15. "Fiction writing is great. You can make up almost anything."
Author: Ivana Trump
16. "Fiction writing was in my blood from a very young age, but I never considered writing as a real career. I thought you had to have some literary pedigree to be a successful author, the son of Hemingway or Fitzgerald."
Author: James Rollins
17. "I want to do some fiction writing, I've had some pretty good luck with short stories, I'd like to do a couple of larger things."
Author: Janis Ian
18. "Basically you come up with the fictional idea and you start writing that story, but then in order to write it and to make it seem real, you sometimes put your own memories in. Even if it's a character that's very different from you."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
19. "In New York I was always so scared of saying that I wrote fiction. It just seemed like, 'Who am I to dare to do that thing here? The epicenter of publishing and writers?' I found all that very intimidating and avoided writing as a response."
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
20. "Part of the writer's problem may be thee wrong kind of appreciation: hen he does work he knows to be less than he's capable of, his friends praise precisely those things he knows to be weak or meretricious. The writer who cannot write because nothing he writes is good enough, by his own standards, and because no one around him seems to share his standards, is in a special sort of bind:the love of good fiction that gets him started in the first place makes him scornful of the flawed writing he does (nearly all first-draft writing is flawed) and his sense that nobody cares about truly good fiction robs him of motivation."
Author: John Gardner
21. "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
22. "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
23. "In older science fiction stories, they had to rely on storytelling as opposed to spectacle. The old run of the 'Twilight Zone,' the star was the writing and the storytelling, and the characters and the twists and the cleverness in the setup and payoff and execution."
Author: Josh Trank
24. "I'm an ecumenical reader, grew up with all sorts of fiction, teach writing, went to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, so my tastes and interests are broad."
Author: Justin Cronin
25. "First of all, writing at best - certainly fiction writing - more and more I think is magic."
Author: Kathy Acker
26. "Singling out "women's fiction" for genre derision never fails to piss me off. Somehow worse when women do it. Case in pt: Editor says crowd-sourcing editorial for romance & erotica not bad idea b/c "no great artistry at stake" Yes, genre fiction not high art. But it's a craft we take seriously, writing for love of storytelling, not writing whatever sells."
Author: Kelley Armstrong
27. "Perhaps for many Japanese, autobiographical fiction writing is life. We are a people expected to complement, to harmonize, to anticipate one another's needs. All without a single spoken clue.And the reason is that he's in training to be a writer. Observing detail, understanding irony, interpreting motivation. Hiro knows that acts are symbolic. The hard sour fruit offered too soon in its season carries a message. He has made an error in the timing of his visit. He has inconvenienced that family.This is the Japanese way. Cogitating on inner meaning. Revealing ourselves and perceiving others through carefully crafted scenes. Writing our endless I-stories."
Author: Lydia Minatoya
28. "People really want to believe that there is no fiction. I think they find it much easier to imagine that novelists are writing memoirs, writing about their lives, because it's difficult to conceive that there's a great imaginary life in which you can participate."
Author: Mark Leyner
29. "I wrote my graduate thesis at New York University on hard-boiled fiction from the 1930s and 1940s, so, for about two years, I read nothing but Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James Cain and Chester Himes. I developed such a love for this kind of writing."
Author: Megan Abbott
30. "Stephen King, by far, is the standard-bearer. I think anyone who writes suspense fiction and says that King isn't an influence is either lying or being foolish. I read his book 'On Writing' before I read pretty much any of his fiction."
Author: Michael Koryta
31. "Although selfhood depends causally upon the existence of the brain, it amounts to something far more than the brain. This something is vague and intangible, and might best be described, I think, as a semi-fictional narrative that is in constant need of writing, editing, and preserving."
Author: Neel Burton
32. "Dramatic fiction - William Shakespeare made his biggest mark writing dramatic love stories."
Author: Nicholas Sparks
33. "Rigorous extrapolation, a gosh-wow love of gadgets, and mystical adventures in strange and mysterious places; every major stream in speculative fiction today can be traced back to authors who were writing before the publishing categories existed. From among the readers in the twenties and thirties who loved any or all of these authors arose the first generation of "science fiction writers", who knew themselves to be continuing in a trail that had been blazed by giants."
Author: Orson Scott Card
34. "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
35. "Contrary to all those times you've heard a writer confess at a reading that he writes fiction because he is a pathological liar, fiction writing is all about telling the truth."
Author: Paul Harding
36. "I believe that, like most writers, my personality comes through in the fiction. So in that respect my writing can't be like any other author's really."
Author: Paul Kane
37. "I like to do the research of history and the creativity of writing fiction. I am creating this thing which I think is twice as difficult as writing either history or fiction."
Author: Philippa Gregory
38. "When I'm writing about reality, I'm writing about death. When I'm writing fiction, I'm writing about life."
Author: Ralph Peters
39. "I hate tricks. At the first sign of a trick or gimmick in a piece of fiction, a cheap trick or even an elaborate trick, I tend to look for cover. Tricks are ultimately boring, and I get bored easily, which may go along with my not having much of an attention span. But extremely clever chi-chi writing, or just plain tomfoolery writing, puts me to sleep. Writers don't need tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily need to be the smartest fellows on the block. At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing- a sunset or an old shoe- in absolute and simple amazement."
Author: Raymond Carver
40. "Maybe the example of Southern fiction writing has been so powerful that Southern poets have sort of keyed themselves to that."
Author: Robert Morgan
41. "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
42. "You spill a lot of beans in historical fiction. Crime fiction is about spilling no beans at all. You spill the least beans you possibly can. So because I had already written historical fiction before I was really good at the spilling beans section, but the new skill I had to learn when I was writing Brighton Belle was difficult. I had to avoid the equivalent of shouting, "this character's a murderer! Look who did it!."
Author: Sara Sheridan
43. "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
44. "I have to do more close research and fact checking for the science fiction. This is not however to say that writing good fantasy does not involve doing good research."
Author: Sarah Zettel
45. "I'm often asked if I think the beginning writer of fiction can benefit from writing classes or seminars. The people who ask are, all too often, looking for a magic bullet or a secret ingredient or possibly Dumbo's magic feather, none of which can be found in classrooms or at writing retreats, no matter how enticing the brochures may be."
Author: Stephen King
46. "I wrote fiction during my entire childhood, from age 4 to 18, and started writing plays when I went to Yale and Oxford."
Author: Taiye Selasi
47. "When I first read Lovecraft around 1971, and even more so when I began to read about his life, I immediately knew that I wanted to write horror stories. I had read Arthur Machen before I read Lovecraft, and I didn't have that reaction at all. It was what I sensed in Lovecraft's works and what I learned about his myth as the "recluse of Providence" that made me think, "That's for me!" I already had a grim view of existence, so there was no problem there. I was and am agoraphobic, so being reclusive was a snap. The only challenge was whether or not I could actually write horror stories. So I studied fiction writing and wrote every day for years and years until I started to get my stories accepted by small press magazines. I'm not comparing myself to Lovecraft as a person or as a writer, but the rough outline of his life gave me something to aspire to. I don't know what would have become of me if I hadn't discovered Lovecraft."
Author: Thomas Ligotti
48. "It's important, I think, for a writer of fiction to maintain an awareness of the pace and shape of the book as he's writing it. That is, he should be making an object, not chattering."
Author: Thomas Perry
49. "'Divergent' was my utopian world. I mean, that wasn't the plan. I never even set out to write dystopian fiction, that's just what I had when I was finished. At the beginning, I was just writing about a place I found interesting and a character with a compelling story, and as I began to build the world, I realized that it was my utopia."
Author: Veronica Roth
50. "However far fiction writers stray from their own lives and experiences - and I stray pretty far from mine - I think, ultimately, that we may be writing what we need to write in some way, albeit unconsciously."
Author: Wally Lamb

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Dreams shouldn't be about what you can buy--they should be about what mark you leave in the world."
Author: Claire Cross

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