Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Murray Farish's Writing Advice from Other Writers

In the 69th in a series of posts on 2014 books entered for The Story Prize, Murray Farish, author of Inappropriate Behavior (Milkweed Editions), cobbles together some appropriate words of wisdom.

1. “The writer is the person who stays in the room.” – Ron Carlson

2. “‘There is only one thing in life,’ she went on, laughing, ‘that I must and will have before I die. I must know whether America is right or wrong.’” – Henry Adams

3. “Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it." – Cormac McCarthy

4. “Effectiveness of assertion is the Alpha and Omega of style.”
– G. B. Shaw

5. “I put my face against the soft hair at the back of her neck and breathe her in, baby powder and child’s washed flesh and shampoo, with an undertone, the faint scent of urine.”  – Margaret Atwood

6. “Simplicity is not a given. It is an achievement, a human invention, a discovery, a beloved belief.” – William Gass

7. “Agonies are one of my changes of garments, / I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” – Walt Whitman

8. “The point for us if we write is that nearly everything we can learn about writing can be set down only in fiction’s terms. What we know about writing the novel is the novel.” – Eudora Welty

9. “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.”
– Henry David Thoreau

10. “There is a world inside the world.” – Don DeLillo