Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Marcus Sakey Says "NaNoThanks"

I think that unless you are a professional who is doing this on something of a lark, like my friend Joe Konrath, what you'll end up with is 50,000 nigh unusable words and no skill set to improve them.

Interview: Sean Lindsay on NaNoWriMo

Sean Lindsay says all kinds of good stuff in this interview, explaining his objections to National Novel Writing Month.

The concept of NaNo seems to be to give people the feel-good buzz of being a “Novelist”, with the barest minimum of work to justify it. They say “Anyone can be a writer”, but that’s only true if you reduce the definition to the most basic level of “someone who writes”. That would mean that everyone who isn’t functionally illiterate is already a writer. The notion of being a writer is only attractive if it maintains the prestige society attaches to published, successful writers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Easier to Read Than to Write

There are already too many people around who mistake a love of reading for a talent for writing.

Stanley Ellin

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Writers' Strike Inspires Fran Lebowitz to Stop Writing

I have been abiding by the writers' strike since their last strike. I haven't been writing, in protest, for the past twenty years. Everyone should stop writing in sympathy. I have.

Fran Lebowitz
New York magazine. Nov. 19, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Paul Fussell's Discouragement

If you want to be remembered as a clever person and even as a benefactor to humanity, don't write a novel, or even talk about it. Most people who seek attention and regard by announcing that they're writing a novel are actually so devoid of narrative talent that they can't hold the attention at a dinner table for thirty seconds, even with a dirty joke.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Your Daily Discouragement

Write, if you must, because you feel like writing, never because you ought to write.

John Fowles

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer Honors National No Writing Month

NEW YORK - Norman Mailer, the macho prince of American letters who for decades reigned as the country's literary conscience and provocateur with such books as "The Naked and the Dead" and "The Executioner's Song" died Saturday, his literary executor said. He was 84.