Tag: Quotes

'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green

The 6 Steps to NaNoWriMo Success, as Told by Your Favorite Authors

It’s time for National Novel Writing Month, a hellish and delightful month-long exercise for writers of all skill levels and prior experience. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of fiction by the end of November, creating a bit more every day (1,667 words, to be exact). The outcome of NaNoWriMo is often a mix of joy and incredible frustration. Here are six pieces of serious advice from famous classic and contemporary authors to help get you through every step of the NaNoWriMo process.

 

1. Let your favorite books inspire you.

 

Horror novels by Stephen King

Image Via sheknows.com

 

Superstar horror novelist Stephen King, author of hits like It and The Shining, considers the relationship between writing and reading to be quite serious: “if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” In fact, reading does make you a better writer— not necessarily because it makes you ‘more educated.’ In fact, many famous novelists never earned a college degree. By understanding the things you like best in your favorite stories (a richly realized setting, efficient pacing, possibly dragons), you can seek to recreate those elements in your own work. It’s not plagiarism to love in-depth character development.

 

2. Research your topic.

 

Research

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Few authors ever write the proverbial ‘Great American Novel,’ but many believe that classic writer and humorist Mark Twain is one of these few. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn author advises: “get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” While you don’t need to, say, drop everything and move to London to write your WWII period piece, you should also know more about WWII than to say for sure it happened. Make sure you have insight into the small details of the places, times, and circumstances you address— even if you feel familiar with them already! Others may share your experiences but feel differently about them. You may also find that immersing yourself in the mood and tone of a topic can make your work more atmospheric. 

 

3. Ignore your self-doubt.

 

Ignoring self-doubt to write your novel

Image Via npr.org

 

Sylvia Plath, literary icon and author of The Bell Jar, cautions against the self-doubt that can spell the sad ending of a writer’s dreams: “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” No matter the scope of your project (sweeping epic fantasy) or the difficulty of the subject matter (devastating political crisis), there’s only one thing that determines whether your novel gets written. Spoiler alert! It’s you. Bonus: if you write with self-confidence, your novel will have a stronger and clearer narrative voice. Take control of your feelings and your work— they both belong to you.

 

4. Accept that you might need ‘warm-up’ time.

 

Writer writing

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If J.K. Rowling, international celebrity author of the Harry Potter series, needs to warm up… don’t feel bad about needing the same thing! She writes:

 

 

“You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that’s just the way it is. It’s like learning an instrument, you’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, ‘cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with.”

 

First drafts are more than just mistakes to be rewritten— they’re actually a necessary part of the process. If you’re a new writer just starting out, every sentence you despise is just the next step towards a sentence that you love. The only way out of the self-hate spiral is through it!

 

5. Consider your words.

 

Notebook and other writing supplies

Image via independent.co.uk

 

So you’ve gotten to the most important part of writing your novel— writing it. Conveniently, this part is usually also the hardest. It’s a challenge to be objective about your own work, and while it’s easy to tell whether or not you’re meeting the word count, it can be substantially less easy to tell whether or not the words are what you hoped they would be. George Orwell, classic author of 1984 and Animal Farm, has a series of blunt but helpful questions:

 

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 

1. What am I trying to say? 
2. What words will express it? 
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? 

And he will probably ask himself two more: 
1. Could I put it more shortly? 
2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? 

 

6. Finish the story.

 

Writer with laptop and coffee

Image Via pixabay.com

 

While the Internet is full of awesome writers’ resources, too much of a good thing can turn into a thing that distracts the absolute !@#$ out of you. The purpose of something like a character sheet isn’t to help you end up with a filled-out character sheet. The point is to end up with a complete character… who then lives inside a complete story. As John Green, celebrity author of heart-wrenching novels Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, so eloquently puts it: “go spit in the face of our inevitable obsolescence and finish your @#$&ng novel.” You can find this wisdom and the rest of his NaNoWriMo pep talk here for advice, inspiration, and blatant common sense.

 

One last piece of blatant common sense: always save your drafts!

 

 

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Ezra Pound

10 Ezra Pound Quotes to Make You a True Poet

October 30th marks the birthday of one of the greatest American poets. Ezra Pound has set a high standard in what poetry is and what it means. From his work in the modern poetry movement to the development of Imagism, Pound was and still is a literary legend.

 

He would’ve been 133 this year, but we feel as though the expatriate should always be honored. Here are some of the best quotes from Ezra Pound.

 

Ezra Pound

 Image Via Paris Review

 

1. “Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

 


 

2. “Literature is news that stays news.”

 


 

3. “There is no reason why the same man should like the same books at eighteen and at forty-eight”

 


 

4. “Properly, we should read for power. Man reading should be man intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one’s hand.”

 


 

5. “No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.”

 


 

6. “I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.”

 


 

7. “The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.”

 


 

8. “If a man isn’t willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he’s no good”

 


 

9. “Poetry is a sort of inspired mathematics, which gives us equations, not for abstract figures, triangles, squares, and the like, but for the human emotions. If one has a mind which inclines to magic rather than science, one will prefer to speak of these equations as spells or incantations; it sounds more arcane, mysterious, recondite.”

 


 

10. “Rhythm must have meaning.”
 

 

 

Featured Image Via Kings Place

zadie

17 Pieces of Wisdom from Zadie Smith

Today is the 43rd birthday of Zadie Smith— a literary powerhouse whose first novel, White Teeth, was published when she was twenty-five. Biracial and the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant, Smith uses recurring motifs of personal, familial, and cultural histories— three things which are occasionally the exact same thing and just as occasionally contradictory to each other. Now a tenured professor at NYU, Smith continues to explore race, class, and the reaches of fate in a way that makes them less of topics to discuss and more of worlds to climb into. To celebrate, here are seventeen quotes on life, writing, and perception from Smith’s full body of novels and essay collections.

 

White Teeth (2000)

 

'White Teeth' by Zadie Smith

Image via kensandersbooks.com

 

“We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.”

 

“Ridding oneself of faith is like boiling seawater to retrieve the salt— something is gained but something is lost.”

 

Martha and Hanwell (2003)

 

'Martha and Hanwell' by Zadie Smith

Image via amazon.com

 

“The more time I spend with the tail end of Generation Facebook (in the shape of my students) the more convinced I become that some of the software currently shaping their generation is unworthy of them. They are more interesting than it is. They deserve better.” 

 

The Autograph Man (2003)

 

'The Autograph Man' by Zadie Smith

Image via amazon.com

 

“People don’t settle for people. They resolve to be with them. It takes faith. You draw a circle in the sand and agree to stand in it and believe in it.” 

 

“He wanted to be in the world and take what came with it, endings local and universal, full stops, periods, looks of injured disappointment and the everyday war. He liked the everyday war. He was taking that with fries. To go.”

 

On Beauty (2005)

 

'On Beauty' by Zadie Smith

Image via amazon.com

 

“And so it happened again, the daily miracle whereby interiority opens out and brings to bloom the million-petalled flower of being here, in the world, with other people.”

 

“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone.”

 

Changing My Mind (2009)

 

'Changing My Mind' by Zadie Smith

Image via goodreads.com

 

When you enter a beloved novel many times, you can come to feel that you possess it, that nobody else has ever lived there. You try not to notice the party of impatient tourists trooping through the kitchen (Pnin a minor scenic attraction en route to the canyon Lolita), or that shuffling academic army, moving in perfect phalanx, as they stalk a squirrel around the backyard (or a series of squirrels, depending on their methodology).

 

White novelists are not white novelists but simply “novelists,” and white characters are not white characters but simply “human,” and criticism of both is not partial or personal but a matter of aesthetics. Such critics will always sound like the neutral universal, and the black women who have championed Their Eyes Were Watching God in the past, and the one doing so now, will seem like black women talking about a black book.

 

NW (2012)

'NW' by Zadie Smith

Image via wikipedia.org

 

“Not everyone wants this conventional little life you’re rowing your boat toward. I like my river of fire. And when it’s time for me to go I fully intend to roll off my one person dinghy into the flames and be consumed. I’m not afraid.”

 

“I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.”

 

The Embassy of Cambodia (2013)

 

'The Embassy of Cambodia' by Zadie Smith

Image via amazon.com

 

“There’s always somebody who wants to be the Big Man, and take everything for themselves, and tell everybody how to think and what to do. When, actually, it’s he who is weak. But if the Big Men see that yousee that they are weak they have no choice but to destroy you. That is the real tragedy.” 

 

“If we followed the history of every little country in this world—in its dramatic as well as its quiet times—we would have no space left in which… to apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures… Surely there is something to be said for drawing a circle around our attention and remaining within that circle. But how large should this circle be?” 

 

Swing Time (2016)

 

'Swing Time' by Zadie Smith

 

“People aren’t poor because they make bad choices. They make bad choices because they’re poor.”

 

“My rage was the only thing keeping me awake, I was feeding off it in that righteous way you can if you never mention the wrong you are being done.” 

 

 

Feel Free (2018)

 

'Feel Free' by Zadie Smith

Image via amazon.com

 

“I am seized by two contradictory feelings: there is so much beauty in the world it is incredible that we are ever miserable for a moment; there is so much shit in the world that it is incredible we are ever happy for a moment.” 

 

“Between propriety and joy choose joy.” 

 

 

 

Featured Image via thetimes.co.uk

 

 

fred

20 Larger Than Life Quotes from Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury’s voice is cherished by many, even years after his death. The talented artist helped create a new sound altogether with his fellow bandmates in Queen. He is not only remembered by adoring fans, but also many friends and loved ones. Freddie Mercury truly touched the hearts of his fans with not only his generosity and kindness, but also because of his amazing performances. Since his birthday recently just passed and a movie depicting his life is coming out soon, here are 20 larger than life quotes by the awe-inspiring musician, lovable human being, and just overall mega-star that was Freddie Mercury.

 

 

freddie

Image Via Daily Express

 

 

1. I dress to kill, but tastefully.
 


 

2. I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend.
 


 

3. When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance.
 


 

4. You know, I designed the Queen crest. I simply combined all the creatures that represent our star signs-and I don’t even believe in astrology.
 


 

5. The reason we’re successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course.
 


 

6. I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me.
 


 

7. I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear
 


 

8. In the early days, we just wore black onstage. Very bold, my dear. Then we introduced white, for variety, and it simply grew and grew.
 


 

9. I guess I’ve always lived the glamorous life of a star. It ‘s nothing new – I used to spend down to the last dime.
 


 

10. We’re a bit flashy, but the music’s not one big noise.
 


 

11. We’ve gone overboard on every Queen album. But that’s Queen.
 


 

12. Onstage, I am a devil. But I’m hardly a social reject.
 


 

13. Years ago, I thought up the name Queen. It’s just a name. But it’s regal, obviously, and -sounds splendid.
 


 

14. I’m hopeless with money; I simply spend what I’ve got.
 


 

15. We’re a very expensive group; we break a lot of rules. It’s unheard of to combine opera with a rock theme, my dear .
 


 

16. What will I be doing in twenty years’ time? I’ll be dead, darling! Are you crazy?
 


 

17. Money may not buy happiness, but it can damn well give it!
 


 

18. Who wants to live forever?
 


 

19. I’m very emotional; I think I may go mad in several years’ time.
 


 

20. I have fun with my clothes onstage; it’s not a concert you’re seeing, it’s a fashion show.
 


 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via POPSUGAR

books

10 Quotes To Spark Your Back to School Spirit

Back to school season is upon us and whether you’re a freshman entering high school, a senior finishing their last year of college, or a teacher, now is as good a time as any to re-energize your batteries! Here are 10 inspiring quotes on education that will spark your back to school spirit!

 

 


 

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

 

 

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

– Thomas Paine

 

 

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

– Confucius

 

 

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

– Malcom X

 

 

“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”

– Jane Austen

 

 

“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

– Nikos Kazantzakis

 

 

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

– Baruch Spinoza

 

 

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

“Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.”

– Anton Chekhov

 

 

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

– Malala Yousafzai

 

 

 

Feature Image Via Unsplash/Syd Wachs