More Quotes of the Day

Just in case you were thinking there was nothing else in life besides writing a novel in 30 days, here are a couple good quotes from, of all places, today’s Wall Street Journal.

kingsolver Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel, The Lacuna (which presumably took her more than 30 days to write),  weaves around the lives of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky.   (Full disclosure: yes, my son’s middle name is Leon,  after Trotsky and Russell .)   According to Kingsolver:  “The best research gets your fingers dusty and your shoes dirty, especially because a novel is made of details.  I had to translate places through my senses into the sense of my readers.  I had to know what a place smelled like, what it sounded like when it rained in Mexico City.  There’s no substitute for that.  I’ve been steeped in evidence-based truth.”

stingSting’s new album, If On a Winter’s Night, “explores the darker side of the holiday season.”  (Full disclosure:  my favorite Christmas carol is that rollicking knee-slapper, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which I used to sing with the dog until my family and friends begged for mercy.)   WSJ asked Sting why this album, especially after the successful Police reunion tour:  “The producer and I trolled through any song from any period and any genre that mentioned snow, ice, Christmas, winter, frost.  I wanted things that moved me, symbols of the winter that weren’t overused….  I’ve been rewarded for going against conventional logic.  Maybe one day I won’t be.  But it’s more exciting to me than the obvious thing.”

Any take-aways from these pearls?

4 comments to More Quotes of the Day

  • My interpretation:
    —-A. Research extends beyond the normal parameters of academia. By experiencing with your own senses the world in which your characters live, you accumulate an understanding that conveys itself as believability on the page.
    —-B. Don’t be afraid to go against conventional standards. There is nothing wrong with a little avant garde if in doing so you successfully create a new experience for others to enjoy.

    What did you take away?

  • Nancy

    1. Make it real; make it authentic. Live it enough that when you write it, it comes alive for readers as well. Don’t put a poodle skirt on a Goth.

    2. Well, maybe put a poodle skirt on a Goth. But if you do, do it for a good reason. If it’s a good enough reason, it’ll make sense to readers as well.

    Or something like that. I’m going to go write about the cat now.

  • A- Get off my a** and go outside… Research cannot be done from a computer chair alone. You have to experience life in order to write about it.

    B- Step out of the box–then get off my a** and go outside.


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