Francine Prose quotes

  • Like most-maybe all- writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, by reading books.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Book #Reading #Writing

  • All the elements of good writing depend on the writer's skill in choosing one word instead of another.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Writing #Skills #Creative

  • I went through college in the 1960s without having any idea that I was going to have to make a living. When I graduated in 1968 it was quite a shock to find out that there was a world out there and that it wasnt going to support me.
    -- Francine Prose

    #College #Ideas #Support

  • I can no more reread my own books than I can watch old home movies or look at snapshots of myself as a child. I wind up sitting on the floor, paralyzed by grief and nostalgia.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Children #Grief #Book

  • Fact-checking is so boring compared to writing fiction.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Writing #Facts #Fiction

  • A lot of girls who turn into something remarkable start off as irrepressible, confident and a handful.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Girl #Remarkable #Irrepressible

  • I know a lot of Eastern Europeans, and because of what they have been through and what they have seen, they have an attitude where they are not easily fooled.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Attitude #Fooled #Eastern

  • I work really long days and I work seven day weeks.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Long #Seven #Week

  • I remember, when I was a little kid, I was good at sports, and I could jump off the high board. And then puberty hit, and suddenly I was looking to boys for direction. I remember that as a great loss.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Sports #Kids #Loss

  • I think poets are much more dramatic, more theatrical than fiction writers.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Thinking #Fiction #Dramatic

  • I wrote about four novels before I wrote a word of journalism.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Four #Journalism #Novel

  • If things are going well I can easily spend twelve hours a day writing, but not writing writing, just thinking and revising and taking a comma out and putting it back in.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Writing #Thinking #Twelve

  • Words are the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Raw Materials #Literature #Materials

  • If we want to write, it makes sense to read—and to read like a writer. If we wanted to grow roses, we would want to visit rose gardens and try to see them the way that a rose gardener would.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Writing #Garden #Rose

  • There are many occasions in literature in which telling is far more effective than showing.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Literature #Occasions

  • You can assume that if a writer's work has survived for centuries, there are reasons why this is so, explanations that have nothing to do with a conspiracy of academics plotting to resuscitate a zombie army of dead white males.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Army #White #Zombie

  • With this recitation of paraphernalia and detritus, O'Brien manages to encapsulate the experience of an army and of a particular war, of a mined and booby-trapped landscape, of cold nights and hot days, of soaking monsoons and rice paddies, and of the possibility of being shot, like Ted Lavender, suddenly and out of nowhere: not only in the middle of a sentence but in the midst of a subordinate clause.
    -- Francine Prose

    #War #Army #Night

  • So perhaps the correct conclusion is that Green was less attuned to how people sound when they speak - the actual words and expressions they employ - than to what they mean. This notion of dialogue as a pure expression of character that...transcends the specifics of time and place may be partly why the conversations in the works of writers such as Austen and Bronte often sound fresh and astonishingly contemporary...
    -- Francine Prose

    #Mean #Character #Expression

  • You aim for what you want and if you don't get it, you don't get it, but if you don't aim, you don't get anything.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Want #What You Want #Self Knowledge

  • I waited for dawn, but only because I had forgotten how hard mornings were. For a second I'd be normal. Then came the dim awareness of something off, out of place. Then the truth came crashing down and that was it for the rest of the day. Sunlight was reproof. Shouldn't I feel better than I had in the dead of night.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Morning #Loss #Feel Better

  • People see everything through the lens of their obsessions.
    -- Francine Prose

    #People #Lenses #Obsession

  • To be truthful, some writers stop you dead in your tracks by making you see your own work in the most unflattering light. Each of us will meet a different harbinger of personal failure, some innocent genius chosen by us for reasons having to do with what we see as our own inadequacies. The only remedy to this I have found is to read a writer whose work is entirely different from another, though not necessarily more like your own—a difference that will remind you of how many rooms there are in the house of art.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Art #Differences #Light

  • Too often students are being taught to read as if literature were some kind of ethics class or civics class—or worse, some kind of self-help manual. In fact, the important thing is the way the writer uses the language.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Class #Self #Important

  • We never believe we're beautiful, no matter how many times we hear it. We never believe it until someone says it in the right way.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Beautiful #Believe #Matter

  • What I love is how pissed off Jane Eyre is. She's in a rage for the whole novel and the payoff is she gets to marry this blind guy who's toasted his wife in the attic." -Angela Argo "Blue Angel
    -- Francine Prose

    #Angel #Love Is #Blue

  • Like seeing a photograph of yourself as a child, encountering handwriting that you know was once yours but that now seems only dimly familiar can inspire a confrontation with the mystery of time.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Children #Inspire #Handwriting

  • I’ve always found that the better the book I’m reading, the smarter I feel, or, at least, the more able I am to imagine that I might, someday, become smarter.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Book #Reading #Might

  • With so much reading ahead of you, the temptation might be to speed up. But in fact it’s essential to slow down and read every word. Because one important thing that can be learned by reading slowly is the seemingly obvious but oddly underappreciated fact that language is the medium we use in much the same way a composer uses notes, the way a painter uses paint. I realize it may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how easily we lose sight of the fact that words are the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Reading #Sight #Temptation

  • 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' convinced me to drop out of Harvard graduate school. The novel reminded me of everything my Ph.D. program was trying to make me forget. Thank you, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Thank You #School #Years

  • What’s strange is how many beginning writers seem to think that grammar is irrelevant, or that they are somehow above or beyond this subject more fit for a schoolchild than the future author of great literature.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Thinking #Literature #Strange

  • Reading was like eating alone, with that same element of bingeing.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Reading #Elements #Eating Alone

  • Every page was once a blank page, just as every word that appears on it now was not always there, but instead reflects the final result of countless large and small deliberations. All the elements of good writing depend on the writer's skill in choosing one word instead of another. And what grabs and keeps our interest has everything to do with those choices.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Writing #Skills #Choices

  • Traditionally, the love of reading has been born and nurtured in high school English class
    -- Francine Prose

    #Reading #School #Class

  • The mystery of death, the riddle of how you could speak to someone and see them every day and then never again, was so impossible to fathom that of course we kept trying to figure it out, even when we were unconscious.
    -- Francine Prose

    #Bereavement #Trying #Impossible