Saturday, 9 September 2017

Quotes (2)

"The most essential gift of a good writer is a built-in shockproof shit detector," Hemingway

"Plot is a Verb," Ansen Dibell

"If the summary of your own story turns out to be one you haven't already seen fifty times, so much the better. If not, don't worry: all the love stories haven't yet been written, nor anything close," Ansen Dibble

"Beginning a character's dialogue by letting him name the other person is the obvious way of telling the reader to whom he is speaking," Jean Saunders

"Rather, very, little, pretty - these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words...we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is rather an important one and we are pretty sure to violate it now and again," Strunk & White

"A good too many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a SAE big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor," Ring Lardner

"Get that first draft down on paper. If you are stuck in some section just put a page with 'here so-and-so finds out where the key was hidden,' or 'here there's a scene where they fall in love,' or ' I don't know exactly what happens here,' then plunge on. Get it all down. Finish the book." Dominick Dunne

"I have had a sign on my typewriter for 20 years, that says - 'don't think, do it!'," Ray Bradbury

"I'm a frustrated actress. I act all these characters. If I don't cry about them, if I don't laugh at their jokes, if I don't lose my temper and if I don't swear, it doesn't seem that I am writing them; someone else is. I act all these characters, I live these characters. And I never use four-letter words either, just all the 'damns' and 'blasts', and nor will I go into the dockyard atrocities of sex. I imply it and let the reader take it from there," Catherine Cookson

Friday, 1 September 2017

What's That Knocking Sound?

We've been busy these last couple of weeks going through staff applications and we've just started conducting interviews.

It's fascinating to view so many different people and gain some appreciation and insight for their very different lives, hopes and dreams.

As a writer, coming into contact with new people obviously fires my imagination and makes me think of characters I may not have considered - or imagined - before.

Be that as it may... (one of those strange clich├ęs that doesn't appear to say what you think it means.)

It's also interesting to me because the whole experience of expanding my horizons has made me re-evaluate where I want to take my writing business in the future.

The other night I couldn't sleep. I was thinking about what I would do if I had a huge staff of helpers, consultants and writers. What would be possible? Just what could I achieve, I thought, if I had a large corporation of people to run, occupy and motivate?

Instead of just trucking along with a few websites and an off line writing school, what else could I do?

It was a liberating moment - even exhilarating to think of all the wonderful things that might be possible given the resources.

I realized there were no end of possibilities. I could write hundreds of books, publish them all, get them into shops and spend a fortune or promotion and marketing...

I could sell franchises, fund charities, give grants to artists, make movies and TV series. I could set up writing schools in every town in the world. I could feed the starving, terraform Mars...

Heady stuff indeed.

And I realized later that this was a lesson too.

That we're often restricted by our own limited world view. And that in order to grow we sometimes need to not only use our imaginations but also to begin taking some action.

I remember reading in The Secret that we should imagine our goals as though they'd already happened. But, try as I might, I never felt I was more than kidding myself - that I was merely play-acting and couldn't really grasp any real sense of having something I didn't actually possess.

Maybe my goals were too large, or too nebulous. I don't know.

Law of Attraction gurus, Esther and Jerry Hicks say the same - that if you visualize your goals and wants as manifest - that is, already existing, then somehow the emotional connection to your desire magnetically draws you towards your results.

All very good in theory. But personally I never liked the implication that if you don't pull off this magic trick of 'experiencing what you don't have', then success is never going to happen to you.

Sounds like a self help guru's cop out to me: The by now old "You attract failure because that is what you want" argument.

I guess I find visualization hard - and I think this goes for many - because I/we know what real success and achievement feels like.

Those moments in our lives when we're amazed at ourselves and are elated are so deeply etched on us that 'faking' them seems counter-intuitive.

I will never forget how fabulous I felt when I got my first advance of money for a screenplay. That feeling of overwhelming joy and fulfilment stayed with me for at least a couple of months. There's no way I could fake that!

I think what I'm trying to say is that if you want to achieve something special or important to you, like writing a book for instance, you need to take the actual steps necessary. That is, begin the journey.

Don't spend lots of time thinking. Spend more time doing.

Take action.

Anthony Robbins once said that opportunity does not come knocking at your door.

No, it often comes crashing through your house.

But many times we don't actually like the mess that opportunity makes and we tend to brush it away before we get too involved.

Don't be afraid to open your mind to new possibilities.

In your fiction - and in your life.

Keep Writing!

© Rob Parnell