You know you are obsessed with the craft of writing when random quotes all seem to apply to your work-in-progress. Here’s a baker’s dozen from one crazed, revelatory evening with my thesaurus of quotations:
1. “By labor fire is got out of a stone” – Dutch proverb: Exactly describes the process of my novel revision.
2. “To really know someone is to have loved and hated him in turn” – Marcel Jouhandeau: = recipe for a believable character?
3. “The mind of man is more intuitive than logical, and comprehends more than it can coordinate.” – Vauvenargues: So THAT’S why my plot structure sucks!
4. “Pour not water on a drowning mouse.” – T. Fuller: Dear agent, I know you meant well with that query rejection, but…
5. “Little by little does the trick.” Aesop: 500 words/day WILL a novel make, given enough days.
6. “Alternatives, & particularly desirable alternatives, grow only on imaginary trees.” – S. Bellow: And thus, I write fantasy.
7. “It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” O. Wilde: Substitute “books” for “people.”
8. “Men perish because they cannot join the beginning with the end.” – Alcmaeon: Substitute “books” for “men.”
9. “The man who suspects his own tediousness is yet to be born.” – T.B.Aldrich: I definitely need more beta readers.
10. “By the husk you may guess at the nut.” T. Fuller: Truly, let the pros do your cover.
11. “He that is everywhere is nowhere.” T. Fuller: FOCUS!
12. “Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.” – Pascal: Let the protagonist lounge, and the Story Mortician will come a-knocking.
13. “Never fall out with your bread and butter.” – English Proverb: This either means don’t eat toast over your laptop, or take care switching genres. Equally useful!