Friday, May 11, 2012

What kicks you; or, Writing advice from smart people

"... write only what kicks you and keeps you overtime awake from sheer mad joy ..."
--Advice Jack Kerouac gave Neal Cassady on December 27, 1950.*

"Then, one day, you turn a corner. 'I am going to finish this!'
After that, there may be setbacks. 'How could I have thought I was going to finish this?'
--Sara Zarr on the revision process. Follow the link for the full cycle of Revision Thoughts! If you think I'm linking to it because I identify with it, you're right.

"A suitcase overloaded with stuff you won't even need is frustrating to lug around. So is a novel overloaded with backstory."
--I recently posted about limiting backstory and exercising restraint in what we tell the reader about our fictional worlds. In this recent Cynsations interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Karyn Henley gives some practical hints about how to filter out unnecessary backstory.

"Sometimes, we get tired. We just want to be be DONE.
We want to believe that those whispers saying 'good enough' are true."
--Jo Knowles discusses that temptation to declare a project finished before it really, really is.

*source: Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1940-1956, edited by Ann Charters


  1. Thanks for the links to these posts/thoughts. The ones on revision and declaring a project done are particularly meaningful to me right now.