Category Archives: quotes

Chris Boucher quote

One of my favorite quotes ever: “There are no good guys. There are no bad guys. There are only better guys, and worse guys.” —Chris Boucher I post it at the start of this year because one of my goals … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, writing | Comments Off on Chris Boucher quote

Rear, meet seat; fingers, meet keyboard.

One of my favorite pithy sayings about writing is “ass in chair, fingers on keyboard.” It’s short and to the point. Unless you write standing up, or perhaps sitting on a rubber doughnut, it’s pretty standard for a writer to … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, writing, writing process | 2 Comments

Love & Mysteries

“Love interest nearly always weakens a mystery because it introduces a type of suspense that is antagonistic to the detective’s struggle to solve the problem. It stacks the cards, and in nine cases out of ten, it eliminates at least … Continue reading

Posted in chandler, mystery, quotes | 2 Comments

Turn Your Writing Topsy-Turvy

In Jane Yolen’s Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft, she writes, “When we force ourselves to go topsy-turvy, we can see anew what is on the page,” (p. 49).She suggests taking a single chapter and re-reading the … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, writing | Comments Off on Turn Your Writing Topsy-Turvy

Art has a shape.

“One thing that makes art different from life is that in art things have a shape; they have beginnings, middles, and endings. Whereas in life, things just drift along. In life, somebody has a cold, and you treat it as … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, writing | Comments Off on Art has a shape.

What Happens in the Reader’s Mind

“A writer’s talking about what he or she is capable of, like a writer’s talking about the worth of his or her own work, is a pretty good way for that writer to start sounding like a pompous poseur. Above … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, reading, writing | Comments Off on What Happens in the Reader’s Mind

Proposing and Disposing

“I shall now defuse this highly explosive bomb while simultaneously, and at the same time, reciting from the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley.” –Gonzo the Great While I’m writing my Crimean War time travel story, I’m also thinking about the … Continue reading

Posted in business of writing, moonlight mistress, quotes, writing process | Comments Off on Proposing and Disposing

Good versus Talented

“Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind—vividly, forcefully…” — Samuel R. Delany, About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, & Five Interviews

Posted in quotes, writing | Comments Off on Good versus Talented

Purposeful, Habitual, and Gratuitous

“As early as 1959 or ’60, I’d noticed that there was something terribly wrong with the female characters in most novels I was reading. Most of the writers (men and women) tended to conceive of their male characters as combinations … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, writing craft | Comments Off on Purposeful, Habitual, and Gratuitous

Black Wine opening

I really love the opening to Candas Jane Dorsey’s Black Wine (1997). # There’s a scarred, twisted old madwoman in a cage in the courtyard. The nurse throws a crust at her as he passes, therefore so does the girl. … Continue reading

Posted in quotes, reading | Comments Off on Black Wine opening