marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.

Blaise Pascal

obsolete

Mar. 5th, 2017 01:04 am
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
OBSOLETE, adj. No longer used by the timid. Said chiefly of words. A word which some lexicographer has marked obsolete is ever thereafter an object of dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it is a good word and has no exact modern equivalent equally good, it is good enough for the good writer. Indeed, a writer's attitude toward "obsolete" words is as true a measure of his literary ability as anything except the character of his work. A dictionary of obsolete and obsolescent words would not only be singularly rich in strong and sweet parts of speech; it would add large possessions to the vocabulary of every competent writer who might not happen to be a competent reader.

Ambrose Bierce

folly

Jan. 21st, 2017 12:52 am
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
The most exquisite Folly is made of Wisdom spun too fine.

Benjamin Franklin
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.

Louis L'Amour

mermaid

Dec. 10th, 2016 10:04 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
It doubtless might please God to make a mermaid ; but I do not believe God ever did make one.

Sir Humphry Davy
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Louis L'Amour
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
It is necessary to create constraints, in order to invent freely. In poetry the constraint can be imposed by meter, foot, rhyme, by what has been called the "verse according to the ear." In fiction, the surrounding world provides the constraint. This has nothing to do with realism (even if it explains also realism). A completely unreal world can be constructed, in which asses fly and princesses are restored to life by a kiss; but that world, purely possible and unrealistic, must exist according to structures defined at the outset (we have to know whether it is a world where a princess can be restored to life only by the kiss of a prince, or also by that of a witch, and whether the princess's kiss transforms only frogs into princes or also, for example, armadillos).

Umberto Eco
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
I loved getting my M. B. A., and I really enjoyed being an accountant and financial analyst before I quit my day job twenty-five years ago to write full time. I just liked writing more. . . plus, I knew even then that as a full-time writer, I'd get plenty of chances to do business-type stuff, while as an accountant, I probably wouldn't get a lot of opportunities to write about dragons.

-- Patricia C. Wrede

space opera

Dec. 7th, 2015 09:49 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Space opera, as every reader doubtless knows, is a pejorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure. Over the decades, brilliant and talented new writers appear, receiving great acclaim, and each and every one of them can be expected to write at least one article stating flatly that the day of space opera is over and done, thank goodness, and that henceforth these crude tales of interplanetary nonsense will be replaced by whatever type of story that writer happens to favor — closet dramas, psychological dramas, sex dramas, etc., but by God important dramas, containing nothing but Big Thinks. Ten years late, the writer in question may or may not still be around, but the space opera can be found right where it always was, sturdily driving its dark trade in heroes.

Leigh Brackett

hay

Nov. 30th, 2015 06:32 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
'You alarm me!' said the King. 'I feel faint—Give me a ham sandwich!'

On which the Messenger, to Alice's great amusement, opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sandwich to the King, who devoured it greedily.
Read more... )
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
And he read Principles of Accounting all morning, but just to make it interesting, he put lots of dragons in it.

Terry Pratchett
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
But the three hundred and sixty-five authors who try to write new fairy tales are very tiresome. They always begin with a little boy or girl who goes out and meets the fairies of polyanthuses and gardenias and apple blossoms: 'Flowers and fruits, and other winged things.' These fairies try to be funny, and fail; or they try to preach, and succeed.

Andrew Lang, The Lilac Fairy Book
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
One of the most dangerous of literary ventures is the little, shy, unimportant heroine whom none of the other characters value. The danger is that your readers may agree with the other characters.

-- C.S. Lewis, Selected Literary Essays

realism

Oct. 16th, 2014 02:45 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
Don't be led away by those howls about realism. Remember-pine woods are just as real as pigsties and a darn sight pleasanter to be in.

L.M. Montgomery

language

Aug. 12th, 2014 08:55 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.

William Shakespeare
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
But you cannot go on "explaining away" for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. Read more... )

truth

Mar. 29th, 2014 12:21 am
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.

J.R.R. Tolkien
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
The greater part of the truth is always hidden, in regions out of the reach of cynicism.

J.R.R. Tolkien
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
The whole point of education is that it should give a man abstract and eternal standards, by which he can judge material and fugitive conditions.Read more... )
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

Aeschylus

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