Gore Vidal: Quotes on Writing

  1. Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
  2. Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!
  3. I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place.
  4. Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note.
  5. How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.
  6. Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
  7. You can’t really succeed with a novel anyway; they’re too big. It’s like city planning. You can’t plan a perfect city because there’s too much going on that you can’t take into account. You can, however, write a perfect sentence now and then. I have.
  8. Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either.
  9. I suspect that one of the reasons we create fiction is to make sex exciting. 

 compiled by Amanda Patterson

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Literary Birthday - 30 July - Emily Bronte

Five Classic Emily Brontë Quotes

  1. He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
  2. I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches and every word he says. I love all his looks, and all his actions and him entirely and all together.
  3. Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.
  4. Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
  5. I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

Emily Brontë (30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) wrote Wuthering Heights. She published under the pen name Ellis Bell.

Image

 compiled by Amanda Patterson

Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter. Amanda is the founder of Writers Write. Her signature courses are Writers WriteThe Plain Language Programme, and The Social Brand

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The Literary Agent's Role

“And it does no harm to repeat, as often as you can, “Without me the literary industry would not exist; the publishers, the agents, the sub-agents, the sub-sub-agents, the accountants, the libel lawyers, the department of literature, the professor, the theses, the book of criticism, the reviewers, the book pages.”

~Doris Lessing 

You do not need an agent. However, it would be nice if you could get one. Agents are an author’s guide to the book-publishing world. 

Agents negotiate deals for authors. Agents know the market and they have contacts. They often help an author with practical input. Agents take care of their business while you take care of yours, which is writing. 

However, most authors have misconceptions about the role of an agent and it helps to remember these points.

An agent does not:

  • Teach people how to write
  • Act as an editor
  • Ask for a reading fee
  • Serve as a publicist
  • Play the role of secretary
  • Act as a lawyer
  • Solve an author’s personal problems
  • Sell work that is not good enough
  • Lend money

Reading fees. Are they a rip off?

If literary agents offer them, beware. Most professional agents would never offer to read, edit or appraise your work for a fee. 

If you want an appraisal or an edit, you should choose an institution or agency who offers these specialised services. These institutions employ experts with no hidden agendas to read the manuscripts. Writers Write has a manuscript appraisal service.

Agents or Publishers? 

Most publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or submissions from un-agented authors. They do not have the time or manpower to wade through thousands of manuscripts. You CAN get an agent if your work has merit. Persevere. Target the correct agency for your novel. 

How do you get an agent to represent you? The best way to do this is to write a killer query letter and a synopsis that sizzles. A synopsis is a sales pitch for your book. 

Seven Tips for Writing a Sizzling Synopsis

1. Hook the reader with the inciting moment. 
2. Tell us how she intends to solve the crisis. 
3. Give us her details, briefly – age, occupation etc. 
4. Tell the story. 
5. Keep to main story points. 
6. Motivation and emotion are all important here. 
7. Editors and readers like human drama - It sells. 

Excerpt taken from Writers Write

 by Amanda Patterson

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Four Ways to Punctuate Dialogue in Fiction

1.   Single quotation marks

‘I’m tired,’ she said.

2.   Double quotation marks

“I’m tired,” she said.

3.   The dash         

- I’m tired, she said.

4.   Nothing

I’m tired, she said.

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. To find out about Writers Write - How to write a book, or The Plain Language Programme - Writing courses for business, email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Literary Birthday - 13 April - Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty was born 13 April 1909, and died 23 July 2001

10 Quotes

  1. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
  2. Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.
  3. Human life is fiction’s only theme.
  4. Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.
  5. I am a writer who came from a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
  6. It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. 
  7. It doesn t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.
  8. Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.
  9. Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.
  10. If you haven’t surprised yourself, you haven’t written.

Welty was an American author of short stories and novels about the American South. Her novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.