Quotes Tagged "writing-advice"
I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!
When I met a truly beautiful girl, I would tell her that if she spent the night with me, I would write a novel or a story about her. This usually worked; and if her name was to be in the title of the story, it almost always worked. Then, later, when we'd passed a night of delicious love-making together, after she’d gone and I’d felt that feeling of happiness mixed with sorrow, I sometimes would write a book or story about her. Sometimes her character, her way about herself, her love-making, it sometimes marked me so heavily that I couldn't go on in life and be happy unless I wrote a book or a story about that woman, the happy and sad memory of that woman. That was the only way to keep her, and to say goodbye to her without her ever leaving.