13 Inspiring quotes from awesome authors

Every week for most of this blog’s lifetime I’ve interviewed a different author. After four years of regular interviews, The Dabbler’s archives have become an invaluable resource, filled with advice on every part of the writing process.

So I’m making an ebook. This ebook will be a compilation of quotes from various authors I’ve interviewed over the years. So far the ebook has 22 quotes from more than 10 authors–and I’ve still got more than 30 interviews to go through.

This ebook will be my next subscriber freebie, so if you want to see it when it’s finished you should take a moment to sign up for my newsletter.

In the meantime, here’s a preview–13 of the quotes I’ll be including in this awesome ebook.

What authors have to say about planning

Writing is easy. Planning is difficult. But the reason writing is easy is because I have a good plan. So I spend a lot of time making sure I know exactly where I’m going before I even start. This avoids what a lot of people mistakenly call “writer’s block,” which isn’t really writers block, it’s just that they get stuck if they don’t know where they’re headed.

~Steve Alcorn, multi-published author and founder of www.WritingAcademy.com

The history of trains is hugely connected with the development of the United States as a singular entity. So, my first suggestion would be: find some time period appropriate museums, and go there. If you have a train museum nearby, visit one. There’s nothing quite like seeing the history to put you in the right frame of mind.

~Meggan Connors, author of Jessie’s War, a novel set during the American civil war

Typically I write a skeletal outline of the main events of the story first, then add in details between the ‘bones’ and flesh those out independently. Sometimes those won’t need additional work, but if they do I’ll keep breaking down the scenes fractally until I can write them out in prose. It helps me reduce plot holes significantly and make sure there are valid reasons for everything that happens. I hate having things happen arbitrarily so I’m always checking my characters’ motivations and making sure the progression is as tight as possible.

~Hugo Jackson, author of Legacy, a fantasy novel

What authors have to say about writing

I hate the first draft. Most writers love that part and hate the editing. I’m the opposite. The first draft is like running through mud. However, when I sit down to write fiction, I do not get out of the chair until a chapter is written. Doesn’t matter what time it is. I’m a night owl anyway, but I’ve often written until 3 and 4 in the morning because I was not quitting until I’d ended the chapter. Not sure that’s easier in any way, but it’s what I do. It’s a driving force to reach the end so I can enjoy the edits.

~Hope C. Clark, mystery author and founder of FundsForWriters.com

Writers write (as opposed to just talking about it).

I see so much terrible advice it makes me want to scream – but the thing I don’t like the most

is writing advice in and of itself. I wasted a lot of time reading about how other authors wrote

books, when I just knuckled down and worked hard to discover my own process, I made a

hell of a lot more progress.

~EJ Newman, author of 20 Years Later and the Split Worlds Series

Listen, listen, listen. And watch. Everything you need for your writing is there in front of you. Watch and listen and get it down as honestly as you can. Of course, you adjust to your own story, characters and situation. As for dialogue, you have to tidy it up and take out the ‘y’knows’ and ‘likes’ and hums and haws. Stephen King, in his book about writing, stresses honesty. I agree with him one hundred per cent.

~Cecelia Frey, author of A Raw Mix of Carelessness and Longing

There are plenty of days that your writing will suck. You’ll want to just throw your hands up and walk away in disgust. Just remember that you can always fix it in rewrites, and plow on through.

~Elaine Corvidae, Author of Daughter of Snow and other fantasy novels

What authors consider the most important advice for new writers

I would council aspiring writers to not be afraid to make mistakes, or to start over. I would advise them to be persistent, get to know themselves, and continue to make new friends who are positive, supportive, and well grounded in their goals and ideas.

~Judith C. Owens-Lalude, author of The Long Walk: From Slavery to Freedom

Never give up! The published author is the aspiring writer who never quit!

~Marcella Kampman, author of Inanna, Goddess of Love: Myths & Legends from Sumer

Fight not only to write daily, but to write BETTER daily. If editors aren’t buying your work, you’re doing something wrong. We too often try to argue with that truth. Keep struggling to improve until someone bites on your manuscript. Never stop tweaking.

~Hope C. Clark, mystery author and founder of FundsForWriters.com

Writing is a lonely slog. Be prepared for that. Find ways of dealing with it – socialize with other writers, get out to literary events, spend time with family and friends, schedule recreation and fun time, try to have a normal life. Don’t let your writing devour you. Destructive geniuses are all very well, but the trick is to survive to write another day.

~Cecelia Frey, author of A Raw Mix of Carelessness and Longing

Be persistent. Writing is a huge commitment, not just in getting the words on the page, but in all the other, less-fun bits that come after. The will to keep going is the biggest factor that separates the “aspiring author” from the “author.”

~Elaine Corvidae, author of Daughter of Snow and other fantasy novels

Follow your heart when you’re writing. Listen to your editor. They’re there to help you, to make your manuscript shine. So don’t take it personally, they’re there to help you catch all of the mistakes and plot holes before it goes into print. And read your contract. Sometimes authors forget that publishing is a business. Once contracts, royalties and money are involved it’s all business. Learn as much as you can.

~Liz DeJesus, multi-published speculative fiction author

Did you find these quotes inspiring? Want to read more? Sign up for my email newsletter and you’ll get the book when it comes out this summer! (Not to mention you’ll get the Ultimate Novel Planning Resource List)