One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 115 – 119

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More quotations on writing collected from interviews and festival interviews over the years…

115)  Writing is finally a series of permissions you give yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall. To be strict without being too self-excoriating. Not stopping too often to think it’s going well (or not too badly), simply to keep rowing along.  (Susan Sontag)

116)  Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.  (Hilary Mantel)

117)   Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.  (Ray Bradbury)

118)   Never fear [the audience] or despise it. Coax it, charm it, interest it, stimulate it, shock it now and then if you must, make it laugh, make it cry, but above all . . . never, never, never bore the hell out of it.  (Noel Coward)

119)  The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.  (William Saroyan)

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