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Two Start Writing vets share insights on how (and why) they published their debut novels.
In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.
– Raymond Chandler
And by the way, here's my theory of punctuation:
Instead of a period at the end of each sentence, there should be a tiny clock that shows you how long it took you to write that sentence.
– Laurie Anderson
sometimes a book isn't a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
sometimes it's the only story you know how to tell.
– Tahereh Mafi
Don't tell me about the pain. Show me the baby.
— Bill Parcells
You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.
Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?
– Kurt Vonnegut
There is only one plot – things are not as they seem.
– Jim Thompson
People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up into the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
– Harlan Ellison
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.
You don’t actually have to write anything until you’ve thought it out. This is an enormous relief, and you can sit there searching for the point at which the story becomes a toboggan and starts to slide.
– Marie de Nervaud