Monday, October 26, 2015

The Listing Hop!

Happy Monday, and bon siman! 

(That's 'happy week' in Papiamentu, the language of Curaçao—and if you ever do come to Curaçao, make a note: all your greetings on Monday need to be accompanied by that... Under penalty of being classified as another rude foreigner ;) )


Today's the day for Bish Denham's
Rules:
Make a list. Any list. Sign up at Bish's page and join the fun. Here's mine:


Top ten twenty-two fifteen pieces of writing advice
(in no particular order)

Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

No. 6 in Neil Gaiman's 8 Rules of Writing



Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

No. 7 on Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Tips to Write a Great Story


Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

No. 4 in Zadie Smith's 10 Rules of Writing



Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

No. 10 in Zadie Smith's 10 Rules of Writing


Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.

From Susan Sontag's thoughts on writing



A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’?

From Susan Sontag's thoughts on writing


Have moral intelligence — which creates true authority in a writer.

From Susan Sontag's thoughts on writing



You cannot write the pages you love without writing the pages you hate.



Exaggeration is not a way of altering reality but of seeing it. 

Mario Vargas Llosa, History of a Deicide, speaking about Gabriel García Márquez 
(my translation from the Spanish)



Ordinary language is an accretion of lies. The language of literature must be, therefore, the language of transgression, a rupture of individual systems, a shattering of psychic oppression. The only function of literature lies in the uncovering of the self in history.


From Susan Sontag's thoughts on writing


If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

No. 6 of John Steinbeck's 6 Tips on Writing


Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.


No. 2 of John Steinbeck's 6 Tips on Writing


You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.

No. 7 of Margaret Atwood's 10 Rules of Writing



The more abstract a truth which one wishes to teach, the more one must first entice the senses.

No. 8 of Nietzsche's 10 Rules for Writers


The richness of life reveals itself through a richness of gestures. One must learn to feel everything — the length and retarding of sentences, interpunctuations, the choice of words, the pausing, the sequence of arguments — like gestures.

No. 5 of Nietzsche's 10 Rules for Writers

***



Hooked? Here's a fabulous compilation of writerly advice, via Brainpickings.

Speaking of writer wisdom, tomorrow I'll be over at Sam Redstreake's awesome blog sharing a pearl of my own on how music helps with writing... 
(With some outrageously wonderful music, of course.)
AAANNNDD — drum roll, please — also to celebrate the e-book release of
THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS!
Come on over tomorrow and help me thank Sam for hosting me.

Want more lists? You'll find the complete list of Listing Hop List-makers at Bish's page... Hop on over and pay them a visit.

What's your favorite piece of writing advice? Inquiring (list-making) minds would love to know. And I looooove comments :)


42 comments :

  1. Thanks for listing with me, Guilie! I love all these quotes and I think I really needed to read them, they have come at the perfect time. I'm particularly hearing Atwood's words and Steinbeck's, two authors I greatly admire.

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    1. Thank YOU for hosting, Bish! I just got back from a round of visits to other Listing bloggers, and these lists are fabulous! Great, great fun. Definitely let's do it again!

      Glad you liked these bits from the greats... Yeah, Atwood's really resonates. And Steinbeck's is my guiding light :)

      Thanks for the visit!

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  2. I really have to keep that first quote in mind.

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  3. Love all these quotes, I feel like I should design a wall paper with them on it for my office. Daily reminders are always good!
    Best advice: 'Write, write, write!
    Hopping over to Sam's place!

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    1. Oh, and congrats on the eBook release of The Miracle of Small Things!

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    2. Thanks so much, Yolanda! Haha—that's exactly what I've done, I have them all (and a few others, and some post-its with to-do items...) up on a cardboard pinned to the wall. Maybe we should design a poster with these and use it as a giveaway for one of your WEP challenges... Oooohh, I like that! :)

      And thanks for the good wishes! We're excited about the e-versions coming out, though those links take foooooreeeeeeveeeeeerrrrrrrr... grrrrrr ;)

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  4. Those are great quotes and very inspiring. I should get back to it.

    Susan Says

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Susan. I hope you do get back to writing!

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    1. Glad to hear it, Juneta! Thanks for the visit.

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  6. haha it is good that I keep the windows closed here I guess. Nothing wrong with exaggeration either, great quotes.

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  7. Hey Guilie!
    Visiting via the bloghop. I boarded at the last moment.... and here I am.
    Great, inspiring quotes!
    My favorite piece of writing advice?
    Simple. BICHOK.
    Butt. In. Chair. Hands. On. Keyboard.
    Have a great week!

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    1. Hey Michelle! OMG, BICHOK—love it! Indeed... oh, indeed :D

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  8. Of the quotes you listed, this is my favorite: "You cannot write the pages you love without writing the pages you hate." So true!

    Yvonne

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    1. Right??? I love that one, too, Yvonne. Glad you found a favorite :)

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  9. My favorite piece of writing advice, advice that I give to writers, is go ahead and write. Even if all you write is that you don't know how to write, then write it. Writing tends to lead to more writing.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Too right, Janie. Writing is about writing. Not about thinking about writing, or planning to write, or researching (we all know what a bottomless pit that one is)... Not that these aren't important, but, really, just write. I've had people tell me they want to, they have this great idea for a story/book/whatever, but they don't know how. None of us do, I tell them. The difference — the only difference — between a writer and a non-writer is that one of us decided, regardless of our cluelessness, to give it a try :)

      Thanks for the visit, Janie!

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  10. Janie, these are all excellent quotes. I'm not sure which is my favorite. I think you've not inspired, but encouraged me. Thanks for dropping by. Have a spooktacular week!

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    1. I'm so glad! Sometimes it's really not about inspiration but encouragement, I think. Thanks for the visit, and—if we don't talk before the weekend—happy Halloween!

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  11. Love your list of quotes, especially from Neil Gaiman and Susan Sontag.

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    1. Yeah, those two are pretty awesome. Thanks for dropping by, Jackie!

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  12. All of these are spot on! Saying dialogue aloud when writing is crucial, not only to capture realism in wording but also gestures & body language. Look forward to playing with books & music tomorrow!!

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    1. "Capture realism in gestures"—Yes. YES! Actually, I tend to read everything aloud, not just dialogue... I've found I can locate glitchy wording much easier that way. The eye scans faster than the tongue ;)

      The post at your place is GORGEOUS, Sam! Thank you so, so much for hosting me!

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  13. These quotes are great! Some I had to read twice to get it into my head but they are sound advice. I think of a tip for writing-Just start writing! Don't get bogged down with this, that and the other thing, just start. Sounds funny coming from me:)

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    1. You hit that proverbial nail, Birgit... Just Start Writing is the best advice ever. And it really is the only way to do it. Thanks for the visit!

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  14. These are fabulous! I'm highly amused by Vonnegut's advice, but it's also good advice. I just had a talk with a writer friend the other day that they needed to stop changing their story every time a different person gave them different advice. You can't make everyone happy. Write what you enjoy.

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    1. Oh, man, Shannon—YES! I guess we've all been through that, changing the story with every "critique" we receive, at some level or another... Maybe it's a phase of learning, like imitating every great writer we discovered back in high school (or college). But, yes, it needs to stop :) "Write what you enjoy"... That's one for the collection. Thanks!

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  15. I'll be going back to these terrific quotes thank you Guilie! Yep, just get to it and write. I like Francois Sagan's words: 'I shall live badly if I do not write; I shall write badly if I do not live'. Another that comes to mind unsure who said it: Writing is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration - it's how it is for me ...

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    1. That "live/write badly" is a brilliant quote, Susan—and so, so true. And I'm with you on the 99% perspiration... Jeez :D

      Thanks for the visit, my friend!

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  16. Some of these are REALLY unique. I've heard a lot of writing advice over the years, but I've never seen it with a pneumonia analogy before!

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    1. Trust Vonnegut to come up with something like that to make it stick... Love him :) Thanks for the visit, Stephanie!

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  17. Don't worry Steinbeck, I never edit as I write!
    Writing to please one person is a great advice.
    Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

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    1. Hahahahaha... Good for you, Alex! And thank *you* for co-hosting this—it's been great fun, and I hope we do it again sometime. Soon. My mind is obsessed with lists now :D

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  18. This was an awesome list. Some really great pearls of wisdom. A few I have already taken to heart, a few more I need to keep in mind. I like the line, "You cannot write the pages you love without writing the pages you hate."

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    1. Isn't it brilliant, Jeffrey? I fell in love with that one, too. If you do read her article, the one I linked to in the post, you'll find a couple more gems. Really worthwhile.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Some excellent advice here. This is worthy to have printed out to review now and then. On the other hand I'd be the one to keep reviewing and not writing.

    My favorite bit of writing advice? "Just write." Don't know who officially said it, but it's logical.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  20. Loved all of them, especially Sontag's comparing writing to a little door. As Stephen King put it, kill your darlings. Ouch!

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  21. All good advice! I have found this to be true -- "You cannot write the pages you love without writing the pages you hate." Robin Black
    It's good to accept that both things will happen!

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  22. These are great pieces of advice, I especially like the two you included from John Steinbeck. Very useful and inspiring!

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