Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quote of the day (or week or month).

Thanks to the NZ Writers Ezine for this.

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are."
~ Somerset Maugham

How I laughed. Especially as I am going through a particularly difficult week when three magic rules would just do the trick. It reminds me of something I heard back in the dark ages when I sold magazine advertising space. Something about how only 5% of advertising works; if we knew which 5%, we'd all be very rich. The upshot being that you just have to go for it and some of it will stick.

I think I'll just apply that to my writing until the funk has lifted.

Maugham's quote just illustrates how much people want guidance - that if they just knew what the secrets, the 'rules' were, then they could churn out a masterpiece. Bookman Beattie pointed out a quote from Jonathan Coe in the Guardian: "Is there a secret to writing?" Coe: "Yes."


Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about the funk, sometime I think the odd funk can be a good thing ( though only on the other side of it!), a funk as idea stewing, tastes better for the delay

love those quotes, Coe's is cheeky - maybe as writers we all just need to know what our secret is. Though I have the funny feeling the answer to the secret is mundane, showing up ( even if it is a trickle of words or a torrent)

Hope the funk clears up soon

Clare Dudman said...

Yes, Somerset Maugham is right, I think. No one knows what works or why it does - not the writers, the editors or the booksellers...and yet we all seem to keep looking convinced that someone somewhere will find them and tell the rest of us exactly what they are.

Anonymous said...

Must be the time of the year! I am (touch wood) emerging from a funk. Maybe you should put on some funk and dance the funk away.

Give in to the funk I say!!

Anonymous said...

I am emerging (touch wood) from my own funk.

Go with the funk - put on some and dance the funk away!

Do it today!

I say!

It seems I have emerged from a funk into a rhyming jag...