WORDS OF WISDOM
I am a sucker for a good old inspirational quote. I think that’s why I like Twitter – those short snippets of inspiration that slide through my feed make me smile and nod. They reaffirm. They motivate. And, well, inspire!
This week I thought I would share five of my favourite writing quotes. These really help me to focus on what is important.
CREATIVITY TAKES COURAGE – Henri Matisse
I have this one on the wall above my desk. Writing takes enormous courage. It is so exposing. Every sentence reveals a little of “you”, and sometimes that is plain terrifying. It can make you feel oh-so-vulnerable, and it is so easy for doubts to creep in and infect your work. This quote reminds me to be brave. Because it’s worth it.
WRITE HARD AND CLEAR ABOUT WHAT HURTS – Ernest Hemingway
Can’t have a post about quotes without one from Hemingway. That bloke sure knew how to say a lot with just a few words. When thinking about new ideas and new plots this is my go-to. Writing with honesty about the things that we fear or worry about is the best way to write powerfully. Thanks, Hem!
YOUR STORY STARTS THE MOMENT WE BEGIN TO CARE – Jenny Nash
This one speaks to me about structure and character, and what is crucial in that all-important first chapter. If you want your readers to go on a story journey with your characters, they must first care about them, and then worry for them. Then, and only then, will they be compelled to find out “what happens”.
THE WRITER’S JOB IS TO GET THE MAIN CHARACTER UP A TREE, AND THEN ONCE THEY ARE UP THERE, THROW ROCKS AT THEM – Vladimir Nabokov
This is my plotting quote and it never fails to make me chuckle. It reminds me to make trouble for my characters. To be mean – really mean. No Mrs Nice-Guy when writing fiction. No way! Getting down from that tree can’t be easy. If it is, the story is destined to make your readers yawn.
TO WRITE CONVINCING CHARACTERS, YOU MUST POSSESS THE ABILITY TO THINK YOURSELF INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN – Juliet Marillier
This is my favourite quote about characterisation. This one tells me that I must know my characters well enough to be able to think and feel like them. If I don’t know them well enough, I certainly can’t think myself into their skins. And if I can’t think myself into their skins, then they will be two-dimensional and lifeless, lacking in oxygen, and without blood coursing through their veins.