"Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh."
"Adults in the publishing industry are currently responsible for the devastating and, frankly, embarrassing lack of diversity in the YA canon. Publishers and edits and basically everyone else who’s not writing what they see for a living, don’t seem to think we’re capable of handling a catalog of diverse narratives—which is complete and utter bullshit.
Don’t project your racist, sexist, transphobic, queerphobic, xenophobic, and otherwise marginalizing overview of reality onto my generation. Our realities encompass racial identity, gender identity, sexuality, religion, mental illness, disability, abusive relationships, poverty, immigration. The list goes on and on, and we need to see people with complex identities and narratives in our fiction."
"The hard part of writing isn’t scribbling words on a page. The hard part is scribbling words that mean something, that make sense, that build a narrative or lay out an argument, that construct a scene or articulate a position. It’s not about how many pages you can cover with ink in a day. In some cases, a good day’s work might be a couple of good paragraphs. But if those two paragraphs are right, then they’re a lot more valuable than ten or twenty pages of idle burbling."
"The pen isn’t really the weapon - the work ethic is the weapon."
His doc is on Netflix & it’s fantastic!
"Writers are often the worst judges of what they have written."
Carry the book you’re writing in your imagination, but keep your mouth closed. That way, nothing that belongs to the book will escape—no image will fade from overexposure, no dialogue will become rote, and no idea will lose its full impact.
Sealed in its original container—your head—your work will retain all its freshness and flavor.
"What we read and why we do so defines us in a profound way. You are what you read, I suppose. Browsing through someone’s library is like peeking into their DNA."
"For me, I think it was a little easier to write thinking that nobody was listening."
"I would also argue that there is a good chance that an outline will help you stave off any onslaught of writer’s block. Let me advise you right up front that I am not a big believer in writer’s block. I think writer’s block is God’s way of telling you one of two things – that you failed to think your material through sufficiently before you started writing, or that you need a day or two off with your family and friends."
Of all the ways writers find to waste time, waiting for the muse to show up has to be the most common, and fruitless, of them all. So if you’re waiting for her, too, stop it right now.
As anyone who actually writes on a regular basis can attest, the muse is a very unreliable creature. Sometimes she shows up at noon, raring to go; sometimes she shows up at midnight, just when you’re ready to call it a day. And sometimes, no matter how many times you put out an SOS, she doesn’t appear at all. She doesn’t return your calls, she doesn’t come to your door (that you’ve left conveniently unlocked); she’s simply missing in action. Gone without a trace. No forwarding address
Which is why you cannot build your writing life around her.