Apr. 24, 2011

Three thoughts on starting a new novel

Tomorrow is D-day: I start writing the new novel, ready or not (which is to say: not ready). Fortuitously (I hope) these three quotes cross my path. Maybe they will help. Keep in mind, in no particular order:

“The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.”

— Jonathan Franzen (via)

“I love writing, but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says ‘You may have fooled some of the people some of the time, but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy, I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?’ And I really, really don’t. I don’t want any trouble. I’ll go peaceable-like.”

— Aaron Sorkin (via)

“So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the pith of each man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours. The history of literature — take the net result of Tiraboschi, Warton, or Schlegel — is a sum of very few ideas and of very few original tales; all the rest being variation on these.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience”

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