Literary Birthday - 28 April - Terry Pratchett

Happy Birthday, Terry Pratchett, born 28 April 1948

12 Quotes On Writing

  1. Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.
  2. You can’t build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I’m not writing ‘The A-Team’ - if there’s a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.
  3. Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.
  4. Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.
  5. I have to write because if I don’t get something down then after a while I feel it’s going to bang the side of my head off.
  6. You can’t die with an unfinished book.
  7. I’ve always felt that what I have going for me is not my imagination, because everyone has an imagination. What I have is a relentlessly controlled imagination. What looks like wild invention is actually quite carefully calculated.
  8. No one’s policing their own minds more than an author. You spend a lot of time in your own head analysing what you think about things, and a philosophy comes.
  9. In the first book of my Discworld series, published more than 26 years ago, I introduced Death as a character; there was nothing particularly new about this - death has featured in art and literature since medieval times, and for centuries we have had a fascination with the Grim Reaper.
  10. Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.
  11. I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.
  12. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

And one more on life: I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.

Pratchett is an English author of fantasy novels who was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010. He is best known for the Discworldseries. Pratchett has sold more than 70 million books in 37 languages. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and was knighted for services to literature in the 2009 New Year Honours. Pratchett announced that he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. 

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Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. She creates innovative, results-driven communications courses. Her signature course, Writers Write, specializes in the teaching of fiction writing. More than 150 Writers Write students have been published.

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