Novels are written, not wished into existence. You have to sit your ass in the chair or nothing gets done.
Love is anticipation and memory, uncertainty and longing. It’s unreasonable, of course. Nothing begins with so much excitement and hope and pleasure as love, except maybe writing a story. And nothing fails as often, except writing stories. And like a story, love must be troubled to be interesting.
It's easier to write about a place sometimes when you've left it, when you can apply your imagination to your memory and let your emotions guide the writing about a place.
You will feel discouraged; you will lose confidence in your abilities; you will be bored with the characters–and the only way to overcome these obstacles is to write your way through them. And writing always works.
I write with a fountain pen. And then revise word by word and line by line so that the first draft of a scene is usually the tenth or so draft.
Actually, my first literary heroes were the Romantic poets, so I began to get serious by writing poems. I have notebooks full of them that I cherish but am afraid to look at.
I was always writing. I just didn't know if I was any good.
What you create when you're teaching fiction writing is a kind of literary salon, not a social club or a mutual admiration society, not a debating society, not a repair shop, not a fight club or a soap box. It's a place to have a conversation about a story.
Writing a story, you understand, is not done by consensus. But we do learn from each other, and we remind ourselves how important this work we're doing is.
Place is character. And all writing is regional.
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