“I usually steal a line from Yeats and it goes, ‘Read what gives you pleasure, write what you must.’ I think that’s pretty good advice. Read, read, read, and then explore your obsessions because I think that’s where the energy comes from. Especially when you want to do a novel because to sustain yourself through a longish project you really have to be, not just committed, but you have to be really interested in it. There’s nothing worse than starting something and then getting bored with it when you’re halfway through. “
– Vikram Chandra advises fledgling writers, in a long, unpretentious interview with Tony DuShane at Bookslut.
(Beryl Bainbridge, meanwhile, reprises the old ‘write what you know’ principle: “I don’t think you should ever try to make things up. We all lead such strange lives that there is no need to. Use your own experiences and then twist it a bit.”) (all of the above via Prufrock’s Page)
“Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.” Richard North Patterson (via Sarah’s Writing Journal)
International Women’s Day Pioneering Women Writers Quiz (Cool, but not that easy.)
Salon’s take on Oprah and The Secret (Shh, here’s The Secret: Keep envisioning Oprah’s show cancelled!)
Big thoughts: Evolution and religion (Could GW’s God who told him to go to war be merely an evolutional byproduct?)