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If I have to push my mind to go in a certain direction that is not intuitive, it can no longer imagine freely. It’s more like a committee throwing out ideas for a whiteboard marketing strategy.

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A writer can choose what he writes, but he can’t choose what he makes live.”

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The process of writing is the painful recovery of things that are lost.

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 Just as a pianist runs his scales for ten years before he gives his concert: because when he gives that concert, he can’t be thinking of his fingering or of his hands; he has to be thinking of his interpretation, of the music he’s playing. He’s thinking of what he’s trying to communicate. And if he hasn’t got his technique perfected by then, he needn’t give the concert at all.

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I often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies. This would have to be […]

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The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.

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As lonely as is the craft of writing, it is the most social of vocations

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I look upon literature as an art, and I practice it as an art. Of course, it is also a vocation, and a trade, and a profession, and all kinds of things; but first it’s an art, and you should practice it as that

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Perhaps it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would be written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterwards than before.

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I think that the character is the fount of all fiction. That’s where the conflict comes from, where the plot comes from, where the story comes from. If I feel that something isn’t go, if it doesn’t have it’s own drive, I don’t look at the incidents to try and understand what’s going wrong, I look at the character.

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