To everyone who is working on various writing projects, believe in yourself and your work.
Most importantly though–keep on writing!
Remember: you are a writer, and you can do this!
I was thinking recently of a variety of aspects of books that I love, including plot, theme, and character. As I was considering these elements, I realized that some books have extraordinary sentences. These lines might not encapsulate the entirety of those books, but they are beautiful and powerful.
I will offer two such quotations:
The first is the closing sentence from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, one of the most important novels ever written:
The second offering is from A Soldier Of The Great War by Mark Helprin. This novel is, in my not too modest opinion, one of the absolute best novels ever written. With this book, Helprin takes his place among the pantheon of literary giants such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Cervantes, and Tolstoy.
I am sure I will continue this idea as a series, but this little post will serve as a beginning.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Wordworth Classics. 1993.
Helprin, Mark. A Soldier Of The Great War. Perennial. 2001.
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens: The Christmas Books Volume I.
Penguin Classics. New York. 1985.
A while ago, I gave a brief post about The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, and I said I would do another post when I finished the book. I had completed it a while ago, but I simply forgot to do this post. So, without further introduction, this is a wonderful read, and I recommend it highly!
Gaiman’s book is a collections of short pieces he has written for a variety of reasons, including people, films, books, writing, and life. If you love his books, then you should enjoy his book.
Here are a few quotations from this wonderful book:
“What speculative fiction is really good at is not the future, but the present. Taking an aspect of it that troubles or is dangerous, and extending or extrapolating that aspect into something that allows the people of that time to see what they are doing from a different angle and a different place. It’s cautionary.” (178)
“Ideas, written ideas are special. They are the way we transmit our stories and our ideas from one generation to the next. If we lose them, we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over. ” (181-182)
“And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” (459)
I give this book five stars out of five!
Gaiman, Neil. The View from the Cheap Seats. HarperCollins. 2017.
I was asked this question several times over the last couple of years, often at writing conferences by other writers. I was thinking about it today, and my answer is deceptively simple: I write because I have stories to tell, characters to give life to, and because I love books.
So here is my question to anyone who might wish to answer: why do you write?
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