Limyaael

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11:22 pm: List of writing/fantasy-related quotes I like.
Just a small one, as this could go on forever.



"Creative fantasy, mainly because it is trying to do something else (make something new), may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."

-Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories."

"Fantasy is made out of the Primary World, but a good craftsman loves his material, and has a knowledge and feeling for clay, stone and wood which only the art of making can give. By the forging of Gram cold iron was revealed; by the making of Pegasus horses were ennobled; in the Trees of the Sun and Moon root and stock, flower and fruit are manifested in glory."

-Tolkien, "On Fairy-Stories."

"'As for the female psyche, I used to be flattered when people said I did convincing female characters, but lately I confess it bemuses me. The implied idea underlying the comment is that it is startling that a man can do plausible women characters. If you push this just a bit, you have to ask how any woman could do a convincing man, how any young writer could do a geriatric, how any of us could do someone not...ourselves. Creating characters is, in a large way, an act of imaginative empathy, and I'm resistant to the idea that there are absolute borders to that. In the end, I'd say that we're really talking about good or bad writing, rather than male and female, or young and old.'

-Guy Gavriel Kay, interview with UK Sci Fi Channel, here.

"What gets you (or any writer) to the end of the book is not inspiration, or second wind, or a visit from the Book Fairy. It's process---and dogged, unswerving, stubborn commitment to process. It's promising yourself that you are going to write every day, by god, whether you feel like it or not. And it's keeping that promise when you don't feel like it. It's doing ten pages a day on the days that you can, and at least one page a day on the days when you think you can't do any. It's putting bad words on paper if you don't have any other words, just to meet your goals and keep your promise to yourself. It's trusting that better words will come, even if only in the rewrites."

-Holly Lisle, "Your Book Is Not Your Baby," here.

"I didn't have an outline as I was writing it [To Reign In Hell], and I remember getting about 4/5 of the way through it and saying, "Geez, Satan is going to win. That's interesting." I shrugged and kept writing to see how it came out."

-Steven Brust, here.

"I have a lot of sympathy with people who want to read the books in chronological order, so I wrote this one to help them out: it falls before and after Yendi. Heh heh heh."

-Steven Brust, same place as the previous one.

"They can keep their heaven. When I die, I want to go to Middle-earth."

-George R. R. Martin, quoted in The Faces of Fantasy.

"Many readers, many critics, and most editors speak of style as if it were an ingredient of a book, like the sugar in a cake, or something added onto the book, like the frosting on the cake. The style, of course, is the book. If you remove the cake, all you have left is a recipe. If you remove the style, all you have left is a synopsis of the plot.

"This is partly true of history; largely true of fiction; and absolutely true of fantasy."

-Ursula K. LeGuin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie."

"The Lords of Elfland are true lords, the only true lords, the kind that do not exist on this earth: their lordship is the outer sign or symbol of real inward greatness. And greatness of soul shows when a man speaks. At least, it does in books. In life we expect lapses. In naturalistic fiction, too, we expect lapses, and laugh at an "over-heroic" hero. But... in fantasy, we need not compromise."

-Ursula K. LeGuin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie."

"The desire for power, in the sense of power over others, is what pulls most people off the path of pursuit of liberty. The reason Brontë does not mention it is probably that it was never even a temptation to her, the way it was to her sister Charlotte. Emily did not give a damn about other people's morals. But many artists, particularly artists of the word, whose ideas must actually be spoken in their work, succumb to the temptation. They begin to see that they can do good to other people. They forget about liberty, then, and instead of legislating in divine arrogance, like God or Shelley, they begin to preach."

-Ursula K. LeGuin, "Introduction to The Word for World Is Forest."



Really like all of those, either for content or for sheer attitude.

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