â€œFantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?
We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.
They can keep their heaven. When I die, Iâ€™d sooner go to Middle-Earth.â€
â€” George R.R. Martin
That is beautiful. I want to write good fantasy now...
9 years ago
Sun Feb 09 2014, 05:46pm
"It's always tea-time."
â€” Lewis Carroll (totally relevant advice I tell you!)
â€œThe first draft is just you telling yourself the story.â€
â€” Terry Pratchett
"1. Donâ€™t think that being published will make you happy. It will for four weeks, if you are lucky. Then itâ€™s the same old [censored] [censored].
2. Hemingway was [censored] wrong. You shouldnâ€™t write drunk. (See my third novel for details.)
3. Hemingway was also right. â€˜The first draft of everything is [censored].â€™
4. Never ask a publisher or agent what they are looking for. The best ones, if they are honest, donâ€™t have a [censored] clue, because the best books are the ones that seemingly come from nowhere.
5. In five years time the semi-colon is going to be nothing more than a [censored] wink.
6. In five years time every [censored] person on Twitter will be a writer.
7. Ignore the [censored] snobs. Write that space zombie sex opera. Just give it some [censored] soul.
8. If itâ€™s not worth [censored] reading, itâ€™s not worth [censored] writing. If it doesnâ€™t make people laugh or cry or blow their [censored] minds then why bother?
9. Donâ€™t be the next Stephen King or the next Zadie Smith or the next Neil Gaiman or the next Jonathan Safran [censored] Foer. Be the next [censored] you.
10. Stories are [censored] easy. PLOT OF EVERY BOOK EVER: Someone is looking for something. COMMERCIAL VERSION: They find it. LITERARY VERSION: They donâ€™t find it. (Thatâ€™s [censored] it.)
11. No-one knows anything. Especially [censored] me. Except:
12. Donâ€™t kill off the [censored] dog.
13. Oh, yeah, and lastly: write whatever you [censored] want.
Definitely rule number 12! :P
YES! DOGS MUST LIVE! (Also #7 is very apt recently for me, given comments by certain family members that should never have been provided a copy of my story, damn other members of my family.)
â€œOne of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later placeâ€¦. Something more will arise for later, something better.â€
â€œBad books on writing tell you to â€˜WRITE WHAT YOU KNOWâ€™, a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery.â€
â€œYou donâ€™t understand an antagonist until you understand why heâ€™s a protagonist in his own version of the world.â€
â€” John Rogers
â€œSocially interacting with a storyteller can be a frustrating challenge because a portion of her awareness is constantly sorting through the details of a developing book. And while you may successfully engage in a meaningful conversation with her, an additional part of her mind is frantically sifting through descriptive lines to be used if ever she were to write this dialogue down. The trouble with writers is that they are ALWAYS writing!â€
â€” Richelle E. Goodrich
"Writers donâ€™t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we donâ€™t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuckâ€™s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another manâ€™s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.â€
â€œItâ€™s down to textureâ€¦.The plot is not necessarily important if you get the texture right.â€