Monday, October 17, 2011

Craft Quotes

I was looking over my calendar yesterday and it hit me...2011 is in the home stretch. That realization always puts a little fire under me. It ups the pressure on making sure I've accomplished my writing (and other) goals for the year. One of the things I did this year was read through recommended books on writing. Books that spanned revision to plot to conflict and more. I believe all people are perpetual students of something. We're in a constant state of learning through study or through experience. For me, this year was about pushing my writing skills.

I have most of the writing/craft books on my shelf listed in the side bar. I read them with a highlighter in hand and recently went back through to see what I'd marked. I thought I'd share a few quotes I found to be important.

"Make sure the GMC's of multiple characters collide. The collision creates conflict." Debra Dixon - GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict

"Pressure is essential. Choices made when nothing is at risk mean little." Robert McKee - Story

"...if the inciting incident presents a problem that compels the protagonist to defend herself, rather than propels her toward achieving a goal, the story produces a reactive hero, not a proactive hero." Elizabeth Lyons - Manuscript Makeover

"Complex and too complicated are two different things. Complex is interesting; if shows writer finesse and control. Complicated is a chore." Elizabeth Lyons - Manuscript Makeover

"Motive is what gives moral value to a character's acts. What a character does, no matter how awful or how good, is never morally absolute... A character is what he does, yes - but even more, a character is what he means to do." Orson Scott Card - Characters & Viewpoints

There are so many more fabulous quotes from the books I've read, but too little time. One can read, and read, but at some point they have to go off and apply what they've learned ;). Hence, I need to go tackle more revisions. I highly recommend the books in the side bar for anyone in need of some craft inspiration and direction.

I hope you all have a productive week and get all your yearly goals accomplished in the next 2 1/2 months! Feel free to share any favorite craft quotes or books :)


  1. My favorite craft book is "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. She basically boils it all down to getting into your deepest self and writing down what you feel.

    And of course, Hemingway's advice -- Why use two big words when one small one will do.

  2. Hey Anne, I don't have that book. I'll need to check it out. Sounds like great advice. If you don't have a grasp of your own emotions, how can you effectively bring out the emotions in your characters?

    Love Hemmingway's advice :) So...economical.

  3. I'm going to have to reread Manuscript Makeover again. *pulls book off book and places on pillow*

    My goal was to study up on plot. I did that and beyond. I also studied books on characterization and emotions. :D

  4. Interesting quotes. Editing is ongoing in every writer's life, isn't it? :)

  5. Hey Stina,

    Don't you love that book? It's so complete and a great one to re-reference.

    Hey J.L.,

    Definitely. We all neeed t-shirts that say 'Let me rephrase that.' LOL.

  6. Love all these quotes. I'm trying to finish my goals. Really I am :)

  7. Deb Dixon's GMC book has saved my butt so many times.

  8. Hey Jennifer! Deb Dixon's book is a must have. I've read it several times already. I think every writer needs to read it and absorb it...and keep it as a reference!

  9. Great quotes!! I was mentally checking my WIP against them as I was reading :). Good luck with getting to check those goals off!