Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ten Successful Authors Speak to You

You have to be a reader to be a writer, at least that's what I always thought. You have to read the styles of others, find out what you enjoy, find out what you don't enjoy and mold/craft your own style to showcase your unique voice.

It's also important to read in many different genres to see what other writers are doing with different subjects. Ed McBain, the author of the 87th Precinct series, had a writing style that was short and to the point, but also delivered a lot of information in very few words. His word pictures were easy to imagine because he provided just enough detail. Same goes for Robert B. Parker, Raymond Chandler, and some of Octavia Butler's works.

C.S. Lewis has a markedly different style. Where as Ed McBain is quick and hard-bitten, I find that C.S. Lewis offers a softer, more descriptive style. He sets you firmly in his scene and continues to add nuances of smell, sight and sound even as you read. When you finish reading a scene in his books, its almost as if you've been there.

Alice Hoffman is the magical word spinner, the one who transports you with the unique juxtaposition of her words and usage. She puts two disparate things together, writes about words cutting your tongue and people smelling of burnt lemon sugar.

These authors wrote in whatever style spoke to them – and you should too.

Ten quotes from successful authors – some about writing and some not...

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. " Raymond Chandler

"If your writing doesn’t keep you up at night, it won’t keep anyone else up either".James M. Cain

"Writer's block? I've never heard of a plumber complain about plumber's block." Robert B. Parker

"Avoid Prologues. They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword." Elmore Leonard

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." Stephen King

Books may well be the only true magic.” Alice Hoffman

"You can make anything by writing." — C.S. Lewis

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L'Engle

"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice." Octavia E. Butler
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. --Anaïs Nin

Bonus:  Never be afraid to sit a while and think.--Lorraine Hansberry

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