Science fiction readers probably have the gene for novelty, and seem to enjoy a cascade of invention as much as a writer enjoys providing one.— Walter Jon Williams
Colorful Fiction Writers quotations
We sat around on a hotel balcony with a bottle of wine and tried to figure out how you would go about blowing up a planet. That's the kind of conversations science fiction writers have when they get together. We don't talk about football or anything like that.
The danger that may really threaten (crime fiction) is that soon there will be more writers than readers
Thank your readers and the critics who praise you, and then ignore them.
Write for the most intelligent, wittiest, wisest audience in the universe: Write to please yourself.
Crime fiction makes money. It may be harder for writers to get published, but crime is doing better than most of what we like to call CanLit. It's elementary, plot-driven, character-rich story-telling at its best.
I understand that postmodern literature probably means people like DeLillo, The Fiction Collective, but I don't get it that those writers are really influenced by postmodern theorists.
But the sensibility of the writer, whether fiction or poetry, comes from paying attention. I tell my students that writing doesn't begin when you sit down to write. It's a way of being in the world, and the essence of it is paying attention.
If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins make us seem harmless.
Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.
It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.
The essence of drama is that man cannot walk away from the consequences of his own deeds.
Writers are magpies, and we collect details about people and we use them for fictional characters.
The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple.
Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.
My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.
People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in 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.
If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.
The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
Fact is often stranger than fiction because most writers of fiction try to make their stories plausible.
I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.
If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper.
If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
I tell my students there is such a thing as 'writer's block,' and they should respect it. You shouldn't write through it. It's blocked because it ought to be blocked, because you haven't got it right now.
Anecdotes don't make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.
There is something else which has the power to awaken us to the truth.
It is the works of writers of genius. They give us, in the guise of fiction, something equivalent to the actual density of the real, that density which life offers us every day but which we are unable to grasp because we are amusing ourselves with lies.
Fiction is truth. I think fiction is the truest thing there ever was. My whole effort is to remove that distinction. The writer is the midwife of understanding. It's very important for me to tell politics like a story, to make it real.
Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but that's the only way you can do anything really good.
I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
Even though my songs may sound very personal, to me most of them are fiction.
It is a great way for me to be able to live a fantasy life as a writer because I get to be someone else, someplace else for three and a half minutes, just like the listener.
There is always a certain leap of faith that editors have made with their nonfiction writers. If the trust is broken, things can get very embarrassing for the writers and the publisher.
Scandinavian crime fiction has become a great success all across the world and rightfully so. Sjowall and Wahloo ushered in a whole generation of Swedish crime writers, many of whom are now available in English.
Many Scandinavian writers who had made their name in literary fiction felt they wanted to have a go at the crime novel to show they could compete with the best. If Salman Rushdie had been Norwegian, he would definitely have written at least one thriller.