Change, growing from within and forced from without, is the mainspring of character development.Rita Mae Brown

Anticipation is the sweet pain to know whatever’s next–a must for every real writer.Richard Ford


If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you’ll abort it if you do. Be patient and you’ll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.Robert A. Heinlein

If you try to discipline your characters, they will become surly and clam up on you, and that will fix you good.George V. Higgins


I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal…The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not try to be or do anything whatever.May Sarton


Each line of dialogue must: one, characterize the person speaking; two, advance the plot; three, be interesting in itself. Perfect dialogue has all three elements. Good dialogue has two.Betty Smith

Western literature differs from much other American literature in the fact that so much of it happens outdoors.Wallace Stegner*

*Dana sez, Just because I think Stegner is the most misogynistic writer who ever lived and is almost as overrated as Ernest Hemingway doesn’t meant he didn’t occasionally say a smart thing. Now and then. Accidentally.

Chatter Writing

Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Have mercy. I came stomping down the stairs, stomped to my father’s study, and asked him about this fellow Hemingway, and those dratted “Nana’s”. Daddy roars, and explained that, in his opinion, the man was probably suffering from a variety of things, not the least of which was an inflated ego. I was a Senior in High School, and we had a wonderful teacher who took us through this book to find what she called the germ. We found it, and it shocked us. Still don’t much care for his writing, though.

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