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Best novel quotes

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The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.

W. H. Auden, poet

I may attempt a novel. I think that no matter what you write, it requires being honest with oneself, and you have to pull yourself out of the whirlwind of daily life.

Iris Chang, historian

Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.

Flannery O'Connor, author

If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea.

Elizabeth Bowen, novelist

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham, playwright

Systematic philosophical and practical anti-intellectualism such as we are witnessing appears to be something truly novel in the history of human culture.

Johan Huizinga, historian

In a novel, I could submerge my ego in a character's and let his perceptions take over.

Elizabeth Moon, author

The ordinariness of living to be old is too novel a thing to appreciate.

Ronald Blythe,

My first novel took 12 years to complete because life got in my way.

Donald McKay, designer

Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled.

Dean Koontz, author

Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer's own life.

Eudora Welty, author

Writing a novel is not method acting and I find it easy to step out of it at cocktail hour.

Bret Easton Ellis, author

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

Kurt Vonnegut, author

Many of my short stories (all unpublished) were horror, and the novel I'd just finished was horror, too.

George Stephen, businessman

A novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments.

Joyce Cary, novelist

It takes a lot of energy and a lot of neurosis to write a novel. If you were really sensible, you'd do something else.

Lawrence Durrell, writer

The best project is one that asks a novel question.

Walter Gilbert, scientist

Jigsaw Lady is the working title of a science fiction novel I've had in my head for darn near 15 years. I think I'll start work on it next year (in all my spare time) but I'd like to get it finished some day.

Raymond E. Feist, author

I'm writing another novel and I know what I'm going to do after, which may be something more like this again, maybe some strange mixture of fiction and non-fiction.

Penelope Lively, author

Every novel generates its own climate, when you get going.

Penelope Lively, author

The pleasure of writing fiction is that you are always spotting some new approach, an alternative way of telling a story and manipulating characters; the novel is such a wonderfully flexible form.

Penelope Lively, author

Each novel is harder than its predecessor because I must work harder at not repeating myself. However, I enjoy the challenge. This is the greatest job in the world.

Jonathan Kellerman, psychologist

Strangely enough, the first character in Fried Green Tomatoes was the cafe, and the town. I think a place can be as much a character in a novel as the people.

Fannie Flagg, author

Let's put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.

Eric Carle, author

My fellow students there were very smart, but the really novel thing was that they actually seemed to put a lot of effort into their school work. By the end of my first semester there, I began to get into that habit as well.

Eric Allin Cornell, physicist

I spend eight months outlining and researching the novel before I begin to write a single word of the prose.

Jeffery Deaver, writer

Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.

W. H. Auden, poet

People think that because a novel's invented, it isn't true. Exactly the reverse is the case. Biography and memoirs can never be wholly true, since they cannot include every conceivable circumstance of what happened. The novel can do that.

Anthony Powell, novelist

Writing fiction is for me a fraught business, an occasion of daily dread for at least the first half of the novel, and sometimes all the way through. The work process is totally different from writing nonfiction. You have to sit down every day and make it up.

Joan Didion, author

I have never started a novel - I mean except the first, when I was starting a novel just to start a novel - I've never written one without rereading Victory. It opens up the possibilities of a novel. It makes it seem worth doing.

Joan Didion, author

The turning point was when I hit my 30th birthday. I thought, if really want to write, it's time to start. I picked up the book How to Write a Novel in 90 Days. The author said to just write three pages a day, and I figured, I can do this. I never got past Page 3 of that book.

James Rollins, author

I started writing short stories. I tried writing horror, mystery, science fiction. I joined a little critique group here in town and ran my stories past them. After about three years, I tackled my first novel, Subterranean. It took me 11 months to write.

James Rollins, author

I don't write romance novels.

Nicholas Sparks, author

I would be rejected if I submitted any of my novels as romance novels.

Nicholas Sparks, author

I love the movies, and when I go to see a movie that's been made from one of my books, I know that it isn't going to be exactly like my novel because a lot of other people have interpreted it. But I also know it has an idea that I'll like because that idea occurred to me, and I spent a year, or a year and a half of my life working on it.

Stephen King, author

I wrote the worst novel ever.

Sophie Ellis Bextor, musician

A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective.

Edward Teller, physicist

I got this idea of doing a really serious big work-it would be precisely like a novel, with a single difference: Every word of it would be true from beginning to end.

Truman Capote, novelist

Lost Illusion is the undisclosed title of every novel.

Andre Maurois, writer

One should be able to return to the first sentence of a novel and find the resonances of the entire work.

Gloria Naylor, novelist

If you wrote a novel in South Africa which didn't concern the central issues, it wouldn't be worth publishing.

Alan Paton, novelist

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.

Anais Nin, author

When you get something like MTV, it's like regular television. You get it, and at first it's novel and brand new and then you watch every channel, every show. And then you become a little more selective and more selective, until ultimately... you wind up with a radio.

David Lee Roth, musician

I'm working on a new novel, in its 3rd draft, but it's hard to write while doing 7th Heaven.

Stephen Collins, actor

If you're writing a novel, you're in a room for three or four years. There's not much coming in from the outside.

Mordecai Richler, novelist

The thematic, psychological, and cultural concerns of a writer are more relevant than whatever literary mode he or she chooses to deal with in any given novel.

Norman Spinrad, author

I probably listen to Burn more than any of them, because it was so new me, so novel. To see my name on an actual record was such an incredible feeling.

David Coverdale, musician

Living in an entirely different physical as well as biotic environment, such a population would have unique opportunities to enter new niches and to select novel adaptive pathways.

Ernst Mayr, scientist

For all the social changes in China can be traced to their early beginnings in the days when the new tools or vehicles of commerce and locomotion first brought the Chinese people into unavoidable contact with the strange ways and novel goods of the Western peoples.

Hu Shih, philosopher

Reading a novel in which all characters illustrate patience, hard work, chastity, and delayed gratification could be a pretty dull experience.

Thomas Perry, musician

The characters you refer to as predatory and unsavory are useful. They're the ones who make a novel into a thriller. They're active, and most of the common virtues, the signs of a good person, are not.

Thomas Perry, musician

Every once in a while I feel the tremendous force of the novel. But it does not stay with me.

Zane Grey, author

Today I began the novel that I determined to be great.

Zane Grey, author

There are hours when I must force the novel out of my mind and be interested in the children.

Zane Grey, author

Babylon 5 is probably the biggest, most ambitious television science fiction series ever made. It's one big novel told over five years with 110 different stories told within it.

Bill Mumy, actor

Be the responsibility on their heads who raise this novel and extraordinary question of reception, going to the unconstitutional abridgment, as I conceive, of the great right of petition inherent in the People of the United States.

Caleb Cushing, diplomat

Narrative art, the novel, from Murasaki to Proust, has produced great works of poetry.

Eugenio Montale, poet

Not only may she unconsciously register a favorable impression with my associates and me, but she may also suggest something by her work that will lead to some new and novel feature in a forthcoming production.

Florenz Ziegfeld, producer

The Butcher Boy is a very great novel indeed and a very important Irish novel. The ambiguity of that is, he's writing a book about an appalling situation and he does it in a hilarious way.

Stephen Rea, actor

And it is a folly to try to craft a novel for the screen, to write a novel with a screen contract in mind.

Thomas Keneally, novelist

The novel, for me, was an accident. I really don't consider myself a novelist.

Wole Soyinka, dramatist

I wanted to write a novel. At 12 I knew, I am a writer. I said it to nobody.

Peter Bichsel, writer

I don't fret over lost time - I can always use the situations in a novel.

Jerzy Kosinski, novelist

When I do a novel, I don't really use the script, I use the book; when I did Apocalypse Now, I used Heart of Darkness. Novels usually have so much rich material.

Francis Ford Coppola, director

I have nothing revolutionary or even novel to offer.

Samuel E. Morison, historian

A novel is often a longer process in handling self-doubt.

Robert Sheckley, author

I took two years away from making films to write a novel.

Neil Jordan, director

No... a novel is a long business. I'm a slow writer, even when I'm doing very well I write slowly.

Octavia E. Butler,

I started writing seriously when I was 18, wrote my first novel when I was 22, and I've never stopped writing since.

Sue Grafton, novelist

I found some time ago that I have to be careful, while working on a novel, what I read.

John Sladek, author

I have survived by representing these sufferings of mine in the form of the novel.

Kenzaburo Oe, writer

The crime novel has always been my favourite genre.

Sara Paretsky, author

I sold my very first novel when I was 24 or 25 years old.

Kevin J. Anderson, writer

Landscape is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to the American novel.

Robert Hughes, critic

I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.

Fred Allen, comedian

Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.

Marilyn Hacker, poet

I was saving the name of 'Geisel' for the Great American Novel.

Dr. Seuss, author

Only in a novel are all things given full play.

D. H. Lawrence, novelist

Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life.

George Sand, novelist

I'm skeptical that the novel will be 're-invented.'

Jeff Bezos, businessman

You don't sit up in a cave and write the Great American Novel and know it is utterly superb, and then throw it page by page into the fire. You just don't do that. You send it out. You have to send it out.

Theodore Sturgeon, writer

I love Richard Yates, his work, and the novel, Revolutionary Road. It's a devastating novel.

Michael Chabon, author

Novel writing wrecks homes.

C. S. Forester, novelist

Life is God's novel. Let him write it.

Isaac Bashevis Singer, novelist

I was thinking about what I wanted to write next, after my first novel, and had decided that I wanted to write a story with a lot of strong female characters in it.

Joan D. Vinge, author

The stories have been told so often by those of us who supported President Reagan over the years that they seem mundane, almost like a fictional novel or a movie script.

William L. Jenkins, politician

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.

Doris Lessing, writer

The impulse of the journalist is to be novel, yet to relate his curiosities to the urgencies of the moment; the philosopher seeks what he conceives to be true, regardless of the moment.

Daniel Bell, sociologist

I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.

Alain de Botton, writer

I write easily, let's put it that way. And in a novel particularly, the characters take over. And they tell me what to say and they tell me what they're doing. And I'm a third of the way into a novel and then I just let the characters finish it for me.

Andrew Greeley, clergyman

In the West audiences think I am a stereotyped action star, or that I always play hitmen or killers. But in Hong Kong, I did a lot of comedy, many dramatic films, and most of all, romantic roles, lots of love stories. I was like a romance novel hero.

Chow Yun-Fat, actor

My advice to anyone adapting a novel is that once they've read it and learnt to understand it, then they must throw it away and never look at it again!

Ben Elton, comedian

Novelty is the great parent of pleasure.

Robert South, clergyman

A screenplay is not a finished product; a novel is. A screenplay is a blueprint for something - for a building that will most likely never be built.

Nicholas Meyer, writer

Before I was reading science fiction, I read Hemingway. Farewell to Arms was my first adult novel that said not everything ends well. It was one of those times where reading has meant a great deal to me, in terms of my development - an insight came from that book.

Robert Reed, actor

I had always said to myself that forty was the cut off point of my apprenticeship which may for some people sound like a very long one, but the novel as art is a middle-aged art.

Jane Rule, author

I attempt to write a good novel. Whether it is literature or not is something that will be decided by the ages, not by me and not by a pack of critics around the globe.

Elizabeth George, author

I think every age has a medium that talks to it more eloquently than the others. In the 19th century it was symphonic music and the novel. For various technical and artistic reasons, film became that eloquent medium for the 20th century.

Walter Murch, editor

A novel's whole pattern is rarely apparent at the outset of writing, or even at the end; that is when the writer finds out what a novel is about, and the job becomes one of understanding and deepening or sharpening what is already written. That is finding the theme.

Diane Johnson, novelist

A scrupulous man will never produce a great novel.

Julien Green, novelist

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Famous authors of novel quotes

Who has the best quotes? Top quotes from American, British, French, German and Spanish authors. 2 Darren E. Laws quotes,37 Richard Russo quotes,23 Peter Straub quotes,26 Michael Ondaatje quotes,43 Nicholas Sparks quotes,29 Lynn Abbey quotes,13 Patrick White quotes,15 Paul Auster quotes, sayings and images.

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