That's how writing works, at least for me: even the stuff that doesn't work out gets funneled into the stuff that does work out.
Here's my answer to the very real existential crisis that grips me midway through everything I've ever tried to do: I think stories help us fight the nihilistic urges that constantly threaten to consume us.
Go spit in the face of our inevitable obsolescence and finish your @#$&ng novel.
The right story needs the right telling.
I'm not interested in writing for adults. I like them as people! I don't like the way they publish books in that world. Nothing ever gets a chance.
I write about broken people who need other people in order to go on. But those are the only kind of people I know to exist. We are all broken.
One of the things I like about making stuff in the age of the Internet, is that people make stuff in response to it. You can see people respond to your work visually or musically or with writing.
I never liked writing concluding paragraphs to papers - where you repeat what you've already said with phrases like 'In summation', and 'To conclude'.
The funny thing about writing is that whether you're doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That's actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.
I believe in hope, in what is something called â€radical hope.â€ I believe there is hope for all of us, even amid the suffering. And thatâ€™s why I write fiction, probaby. Itâ€™s my attempt to keep that fragile strand of radical hope, to buld a fire in the darkness.r
In retrospect Hank I don't know why I spent four years writing this book when I could have just made a hit sing-a-ma-jig album.
Whenever I'm asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you're being told.
Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.
But I had to kill you, because the only other possible ending was us doing it, which I wasn't really emotionally ready to write about at ten.' 'Fair enough,' I say. 'But in the revision, I want to get some action.
You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect.
Writing does not resurrect. It buries.
If my public existence does anything worthwhile, hopefully it at least demystifies the author a bit, because I know when I was younger I felt like authors were like wizards or something. Turns out they're total muggles.
We're professional worriers. You're constantly imagining things that could go wrong and then writing about them.
[This] is very important to remember when reading or writing or talking or whatever: You are never, ever choosing whether to use symbols. You are choosing which symbols to use.
[My] interest as a writer is not in reflecting actual human speech, which, of course, does not occur in sentences and is totally undiagrammable...My interest is in trying to reflect the reality of experience-how we feel when we talk to each other, how we feel when we're engaging with questions that
Writing, or at least good writing, is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people. And that's true whether you're reading Shakespeare or bad vampire fiction-reading is always an act of empathy. It's always an imagining of what it's like to be
One of the pitfalls about writing about illness is that it is very easy to imagine people with cancer as either these wise-beyond-their-years creatures or these sad-eyed tragic people. And the truth is, people living with cancer are very much like people who are not living with cancer. They're every
Writing is something you do alone. It's a profession for introverts who wanna tell you a story but don't wanna make eye contact while telling it
Nostalgia is inevitably a yearning for a past that never existed and when I'm writing, there are no bees to sting me out of my sentimentality. For me at least, fiction is the only way I can even begin to twist my lying memories into something true.
What I eventually realized is that the real business of books is not done by awards committees or people who turn trees into paper or editors or agents or even writers. We're all just facilitators. The real business is done by readers.
I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you're trying to be a writer because it's the only apprenticeship we have, it's the only way of learning how to write a story.
Writing fiction is an inherently political activity because people-even imaginary ones-do not live in vacuums... From Twilight to Romeo and Juliet to The Little Mermaid, no work of the imagination is truly apolitical, because the world and our hopes for it are always part of our stories.
When I think about [characters], I like to think of them in their relationships to each other. In the same way, I think that's how humans are ultimately defined. We are our relationships to one another. And a lot of what's interesting about us happens in the context of other people.
This is what I love about novels - both reading them and writing them. They jump into the abyss to be with you where you are.
Every time I try to set something in Chicago, I get intimidated by 'Augie March.' It's easy to set something in Indianapolis - we don't have 'Augie March' here. But I love writing about Chicago, and I love being there and imagining lives in Chicago. I hope to set something there in the future, but i