The scariest moment is always just before you start.
The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.
No one likes to see a government folder with his name on it.
Fighting for peace, is like f***ing for chastity.
Money talks, bullshit walks.
What happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality breaks and the glass begins to fly?
Even when lightning flashes inside them... we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, next pain, next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.
When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest.
You go where the story leads you.
Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.
No, it's not a very good story -- its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
But I think there are a set of experiences that turn a potential writer into a working writer, and then there are places in your life were you start to recognize what you want to do.
The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there. And still on your feet.
I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the Easter Bunny. I believe in the Tooth Fairy. But I don't believe in you. This is battery acid. Now, you disappear!
I hated high school. I don't trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there's something wrong with you.
Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.
Her color was high, and there were deep dimples at the corners of her mouth. She looked nine miles out of place, but he had never loved her more. This was Willa on the edge of a smile.
Laughter, is like a hurricane, once it reaches a certain point, it becomes self-feeding, self-supporting. You laugh not because the jokes are funny but because your own condition is funny.
I'm still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like very blessed hours to me.
JK Rowling created seven horcruxes. She put a part of her soul in every book and her books will live forever.
That's something that is almost accidental at the beginning of a career, but the more you write, the more trained you are to recognize the little signals.
He went into the bathroom, set his Coleman lamp on the sink so that it illuminated the mirror, and for the next fifteen minutes he practiced smiling. He was getting very good at it.
The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high... but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.
I was sitting one day and thinking about cannibalism, because that's what guys like me do... and I thought, suppose a guy was washed up on a rocky island, how much of himself could he eat?
He liked the way his laughter sounded with theirs. It was the sound he had never heard before: not mingled laughter -- he heard that lots of times -- but mingled laughter of which his own was a part.
And I believe happiness is the exact opposite of sadness, bitterness, and hatred: happiness should remain unexamined as long as possible.
Families, when a child is born Want it to be intelligent. I, through intelligence, Having wrecked my whole life, Only hope the baby will prove Ignorant and stupid. Then he will crown a tranquil life By becoming a Cabinet Minister.
The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years -- if it ever did end -- began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
Coincidences happen, but I've come to believe they are actually quite rare. Something is at work, okay? Somewhere in the universe (or behind it), a great machine is ticking and turning its fabulous gears.
He had discovered that there was not just one God but many, and some were more than cruel -- they were insane, and that changed all. Cruelty, after all, was understandable. With insanity, however, there was no arguing.
The book is not the important part. The book is the delivery system. The important part is the story and the talent.
A crazy certainty had arisen in his mind: a hand -- or perhaps a claw -- was going to swim up from the grayness of the Kindle's screen, grab him by the throat, and yank him in.
What's behind the door or lurking at the top of the stairs is never as frightening as the door or the staircase itself.
Or was it a kind of egotism masquerading as strength? She knew men were taught (primarily by other men, of course) that they were to keep their pain to themselves, but she also knew marriage was supposed to undo some of that teaching.
He lay back, put his arm over his eyes, and tried to hold onto the anger, because the anger made him feel brave. A brave man could think. A coward couldn't.
They'll float, it growled, they float, Georgie, and when you're down here with me, you'll float, too.
I done a few things in my life that I'm not proud of, but this is the first time I ever felt really actually in danger of hell.
That last bit of babble had gone home. How was they supposed to know, that was ungrammatical but right.
Writing is like sex. The more you think about it, the harder it is to do. It's better not to think about it so much and just let it happen.
Want to see the rock? Want to lay on it naked, and feel me in you, beneath the pinwheel stars, while the grass sings our names?
'Help me find some guts,' Eddie said. 'That's my wish. Help me find the guts to try and finish this damned thing.'
She didn't want to close herself into this bad-smelling room with the old woman, but when there was no choice, hesitation was ever a fault.
That's the curse of the reading class. We can be seduced by a good story even at the most inopportune moments.
I suppose you'd have to say that my interest in the subject fell somewhere between the Land of Hobbies and the Kingdom of Obsession.
If you've every been homesick, or felt exiled from all the things and people that once defined you, you'll know how important welcoming words and friendly smiles can be.
You grew up, became a man, had to adjust to taking less than you hoped for; you discovered the dream-machine had a big OUT OF ORDER sign on it.
Anger is the most useless emotion, Henchick intoned, destructive to the mind and hurtful to the heart.
Invitation to Dance-
It's a Dance. And sometimes they turn the lights off in this ballroom.
But we'll dance anyway, you and I. Even in the Dark. Especially in the Dark.
May I have the pleasure?
The dead do not see, unless they look from a brighter place than this darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night.
There are lots of guys out there who write a better prose line than I do and who have a better understanding of what people are really like and what humanity is supposed to mean -- hell, I know that.
He died with his tie on. Do you think that could be our generation's equivalent of that old saying about dying with your boots on?
Fantasy fiction is essentially about the concept of power; great fantasy fiction is about people who find it at great cost or lose it tragically; mediocre fantasy fiction is about people who have it and never lose it but simply wield it.
If seven hundred monkeys typed for seven hundred years, one of them would turn out the works of Shakespeare,.
She didn't like seeing that look in his face, but she wanted to see it there, she did. He was a man, wasn't he? And sometimes men had to learn what it was to be afraid of a woman.
I feel like a man standing at the mouth of an old mine-shaft that is full of cave-ins waiting to happen, standing there and saying goodbye to the daylight.
That rational voice was right to be frightened. There's something in us that is very much attracted to madness. Everyone who looks off the edge of a tall building has felt a faint, morbid urge to jump.
The family exists for many reasons, but its most basic function may be to draw together after a member dies.
If you think getting old is tough for men, let me tell you, it's no picnic for women. Once your tits fall, you become pretty much visible to fifty percent of the population.
There was an abyss. And books contained magical incantations to raise what was hidden there, all the great mysteries.
A product is something made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by the customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.
An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.
Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters' theses.
What I didn't realize was how many doors the act of writing unlocks, as if my Dad's old fountain pen wasn't really a pen at all, but some strange variety of skeleton key.
There's an old rule of theater that goes, 'If there's a gun on the mantel in Act I, it must go off in Act III.' The reverse is also true.
Also, I suppose I wanted to say goodbye to someone, and have someone say goodbye to me. The goodbyes we speak and the goodbyes we hear are the goodbyes that tell us we're still alive, after all.
Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects.
For me, that emotional payoff is what it's all about. I want you to laugh or cry when you read a story...or do both at the same time. I want your heart, in other words. If you want to learn something, go to school.
If you drop a book into the toilet, you can fish it out, dry it off and read that book. But if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you're pretty well done.
What I'm saying is that I'm trying to find rational reasons to explain irrational feelings, and that's neveer a good sign.
There was a beautiful feeling of calm in my groin, a sense of peace so remarkable it was almost ecstasy----anyone who' suffered bad pain and then recovered will know what I'm talking about.
I go where the story leads. And, sometimes, it is a little bit outrageous. And I relish that. I sort of want to be as much on the edge as I can.
Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time.
Don't go beyond, no matter how much you feel you need to, Doctor. The barrier was not made to be broken. Remember this: there is more power here than you know. It is old and always restless. Remember.
When it comes to rock music, I'm not much of a player, but I do have entry-level chops. I'm more knowledgeable as a listener, and Revival gave me a way to write about rock and roll without being preachy or boring.
I write about things that scare me. I've never written a snake story in my life. I myself have never written a story about snakes because they don't scare me. I write about rats because they scare the hell out of me.
And what would they find on sale? His sanity? Could be. Half-Price. Smoke and Water Damage. Everything Must Go.
Love among the ruins... I'll tell you something, my friend: Weird love's better than no love at all.
I don't like the idea that I am going to come back as an ant or a sparrow if I don't get along in the great karma of life.
I get inspiration, a lot of times, from very commonplace things that just strike a chord and develop themselves in the subconscious.
I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.
It's best to have your tools with you. If you don't, you're apt to find something you didn't expect and get discouraged.
Can the future hsitory of the world be so fragile that it will not allow two high school teachers to meet and fall in love? To marry, to dance to Beatles tunes like I Want to Hold Your Hand, and live unremarkable lives?
Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?
He stared at me, baffled. Why the fuck would you do that?
Tracking account planning is rather like counting a mixed batch of tropical fish. You think you see patterns, but they've all changed by the time you've finished counting.
What he knows now is that guilt isn't the only reason people commit suicide. Sometimes you can just get bored with afternoon TV.
There were fourteen steps exactly fourteen. But the top one was smaller, out of proportion, as if it had been added to avoid the evil number.
God grant me to SERENITY to accept what I cannot change the TENACITY to change what I may and the GOOD LUCK not to f*** up too often.
From the Book of Republicans: Lo, we have many assholes running for President. Let us consider, and pick the biggest. And so it was done.
Just go on dancing with me like this forever and I'll never tire. We'll scrape our shoe on the stars and hang upside down from the moon.
By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.
Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long. And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
We sometimes need to create unreal monsters and bogies to stand in for all the things we fear in our real lives.
There I sat in the sun, watching half a dozen pairs and one slow but cheerful foursome pass by waving their mallets, thinking my old man's thoughts and letting the sun warm my old man's bones.
Verbs come in two types, active and passive. With an active verb, the subject of the sentence is doing something. With a passive verb, something is being done to the subject of the sentence.
See the bear of fearsome size! All the world's within his eyes. Time grows thin, the past is a riddle; the tower awaits you in the middle.
If stone-sober people can fuck like they're out of their minds -- can actually be out of their minds while caught in that throe -- why shouldn't writers be able to go bonkers and still stay sane?
I like you, she whispered, and he thought that her scent was like lilies, secret and hidden in cracks furred with green moss--places where sunshine is short and shadows long.
A cloud-congested caul that is alternately red, orange, vermilion, purple. Sometimes the clouds break apart in great, slow rafts, letting through beams of innocent yellow sunlight that are bitterly nostalgic for the summer that has gone by.
They came to see what happened to their town, to see if it was indeed lying burnt and bleeding. Many of them also came to die.
So what he supposed to do? Grab Bobbie's ax and make like Jack Nicholson in The Shinning? He could see it. Smash, crash, bash: Heeeeeeere's GARDENER!
If you're going into a very dark place, then you should take a bright light, and shine it on everything. If you don't want to see, why in God's name would you dare the dark at all?
The Black Man grinned at her with his jackal mouth, and his scarlet eyes knew all the secrets of woman-blood.
Her hands were to her face but she could see through the prison of her fingers could see them how they were beautiful wrapped in light swathed in the bright angelic robes of Acceptance.
As we get older, our fears, in some way, sharpen and become more personal, because we can no longer -- let's say take a book like It or maybe Christine, and say these are make-believe fears.
A great whispering noise began to rise in the woods on either side of the tracks, as if the forest had just noticed we were there and was commenting on it.
It's a mystery. That's the first thing that interests me about the idea of God. If there is one, it's mysterious and powerful and awesome to even consider the concept, and you have to take it seriously.