Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quotes on writing

I read a quote by C.S. Lewis a while ago that perfectly summed up how the writing process works for me. Unfortunately, I can't remember it. So I tried to look it up, and found a few more quotes on writing that I thought I'd share.

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.  ~Burton Rascoe

Ah-ha! I've found the quote I'm looking for:

"With me the process is much more like bird watching than like either talking or building. I see pictures. Some of the pictures have a common flavor, almost a common smell, which groups them together. Keep quiet and watch and they will begin joining themselves up. If you were very lucky (I have never been so lucky as all that) a whole group might join themselves so consistently that there you had a complete story; without doing anything yourself. But more often (in my experience always) there are gaps. Then at last you have to do some deliberate inventing."

That's more what the writing process is for me.


  1. I love your quotes, so true, so true. If you are a fan of C. S. Lewis but have not yet discovered his book of essays, Of Other Worlds, I would head for the library post haste. It is great, especially for any science fiction and/or fantasy writer.

  2. ...and I forgot another good C. S. Lewis book for you. It’s On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. Great stuff!

  3. Eventually, I want to collect all of his works... sadly, funds do not permit me to get all of them at one time. :(

    I think I currently have:
    - The Chronicles of Narnia
    - the Prelanda trilogy
    - The screwtape letters
    ... and I think Mere Christianity is floating around here somewhere...