You know, people think you have to be dumb to skip rope for 45 minutes. No, you have to be able to imagine something else. While you're skipping rope, you have to be able to see something else.
There's no reason you should write any novel quickly.
The building of the architecture of a novel - the craft of it - is something I never tire of.
Sometimes that's a year, sometimes it's 18 months, where all I'm doing is taking notes. I'm reconstructing the story from the back to the front so that I know where the front is.
Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn't know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn't know he was a novelist either.
More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn't say I have a talent that's special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.
I had been a student in Vienna, and one of the neat little things I had found out was about that zoo. It was a good debut novel for me to have published. I was 26 or 27 when it was published. I already had a kid and would soon have a second.
You can't learn everything you need to know legally.
There are few things as seemingly untouched by the real world as a child asleep.
And I find - I'm 63, and my capacity to be by myself and just spend time by myself hasn't diminished any. That's the necessary part of being a writer, you better like being alone.
I've always been a fan of the 19th century novel, of the novel that is plotted, character-driven, and where the passage of time is almost as central to the novel as a major minor character, the passage of time and its effect on the characters in the story.
Do you really want to go back to those times when orphanages existed and when many orphans were not adopted
No adult in my family would ever tell me anything about who my father was. I knew from an older cousin - only four years older than I am - everything, or what little I could discover about him.
There's no reason you shouldn't, as a writer, not be aware of the necessity to revise yourself constantly.
To her, ... celebrities at the party were not movie stars but the actual characters they'd played. Unfortunately, these movies had overlapped in her mind -- to the extent that she'd merged the plots of several different films into one incomprehensible epic. ...
Your memory is a monster you forget - it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory but it has you
To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense.
I think the sport of wrestling, which I became involved with at the age of 14... I competed until I was 34, kind of old for a contact sport. I coached the sport until I was 47. I think the discipline of wrestling has given me the discipline I have to write.
When I was still in prep school - 14, 15 - I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things.
My principal creative pursuit is so solitary, that to be my age and have a legitimate second career in a collaborative environment is a gratification I never expected,
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
I take people very seriously. People are all I take seriously, in fact. Therefore, I have nothing but sympathy for how people behave - and nothing but laughter to console them with.
You can't impose your political feelings on your children, ... I thought about it, but I didn't think about it very torturously or hard. I'm 63 years old, and I'm not nave enough to think that my staying in Vermont would have any influence on the first lady or her husband.
The inshore lifeboat was very busy with 39 jobs, and the all-weather lifeboat had 11.
I have pretty thick skin, and I think if you're going to be in this business, if you're going to be an actor or a writer, you better have a thick skin.