- But how do you ever know that you know a person?
- A person walks into a room and says hello, and your life takes a course for which you are not prepared. It's a tiny moment (almost-but not quite-unremarkable), the beginning of a hundred thousand tiny moments and some larger ones.
- To leave, after all, was not the same as being left.
- Love is not simply the sum of sweet greetings and wrenching partings and kisses and embraces, but is made up more of the memory of what has happened and the imagining of what is to come.
- Sometimes, she thought, courage was simply a matter of putting one foot in front of another and not stopping.
- And she thought then how strange it was that disaster--the sort of disaster that drained the blood from your body and took the air out of your lungs and hit you again and again in the face--could be at times, such a thing of beauty.
- And then she moved from shock to grief the way she might enter another room.
- I discover that it is possible to be angry with someone who has died. It is possible to hate yourself for being angry with someone who has died. It is possible to believe that you will die from grief, that somehow your breathing will catch itself up and simply stop. It is possible to believe that you could have stopped the terrible thing that happened at any time, if only you had known.
- There are more experiences in life than you’d think for which there are no words.
Eight Writing Quotes
- I was very young when I had the first hankerings to be a writer, but I didn’t take this desire at all seriously until I was in my early 20s. I am self-taught.
- Children’s voices came as easily as the adults’. The trick is to hear the speech patterns.
- It’s a bit of a (mostly-pleasurable) shock. To see something you dreamed up in your living room come to the Big Screen is always a little amazing.
- I’ve written 14 novels in 19 years. It always seems to me that a novel takes 18 months to write.
- I’m at my desk by 7:30. I work until noon. I usually write in my bathrobe.
- (Working as a journalist) I learned how to shape a story. When you’re writing for a magazine, you’re given a finite number of words of columns. You need to know your beginning, your ending and how you’re going to get there. That helped enormously in fiction. I also learned not to be afraid of research.
- I might start with a broad-strokes outline. I often know my ending, and about 50 or 100 pages into the book, I might write the last line.
- I imagine myself in (a character’s) shoes. I see what they see. I hear what they hear. It’s a time-consuming process, but the more you dig, the better the character will be.
Anita Shreve was a magazine writer and editor in New York. In 1989, she published her first novel, Eden Close. Since then she has written 14 other novels, including The Weight of Water, The Pilot’s Wife, and Body Surfing. Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction in 1988. The Pilot’s Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah’s Book Club and an international bestseller.
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