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Nearly finished? {3} – Raymond Chandler

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.

Groucho Marx, on S.J. Perlman’s first book

I try to leave out the parts that people skip.

Elmore Leonard

Having paraphrased the Raymond Chandler quote about almost writers, which does exist somewhere, and later ogling for it without success, came across this page by Mark Coggins – himself a private dick novelist – about a visit he made to the Bodleian Library to look at Chandler’s papers. Good stuff.

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

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.

Red Smith

In a very real sense, the writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself.

Alfred Kazin

Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.

Marianne Moore

A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to peer out.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly in hand before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer.

Anne Frank

The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

{1} {2}

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Writing | , , , | Leave a comment

Nearly finished? {2} Timothy Hallinan’s writer’s resources

“Advice is like manure. You need to use it sparingly and consider the source.”

— Dolores Feldon

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

— Pablo Picasso

At first I thought I was going to be irritated by lists of how to do it. Now I see there are lots of quotes and references to other writers, I’m much happier. And, yes, just a moment ago I saw the name Raymond Chandler on one page. So, hopefully, there’s going to be that quote (paraphrased here by me as): “There’s nothing quite so sad as an almost writer.” Something like that. Well, no, probably not: Tim’s trying to encourage writing not put us off for good.


Part 2: Getting started / 2. Work Habits:

The writer with the most impressive work ethic was probably Anthony Trollope, a contemporary of Dickens’ who is one of my favorite novelists in the world. Trollope wrote by the clock day in and day out, wherever in the world he was. He set up that clock and wrote at home, in hotels, at his club, on the road, in his cabin on ships, and for all I know, while he was visiting America, on a stage coach. When the time was up, he quit. Here’s the part that got my attention. If he had, say, eleven minutes left on the clock, and he had just finished a novel, he didn’t sit back and enjoy a celebratory cup of tea – he started a new novel. Eleven minutes later, he quit for the day. (By the way, Trollope wrote some 45 novels.)

I was wondering whether to leave the parenthesis at the end out.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Writing | , , | 3 Comments