Novelists quotes

  • Drawing Dead is a brilliant noir from one of Australia's most exciting new novelists.
    -- Adrian McKinty

    #Drawing #Australia #Novelists

  • It is not the office of a novelist to show us how to behave ourselves; it is not the business of fiction to teach us anything.
    -- Agnes Repplier

    #Office #Novelists #Fiction

  • Great novelists are philosopher-novelists who write in images instead of arguments.
    -- Albert Camus

    #Writing #Novelists #Philosopher

  • If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is keep a pair of cats.
    -- Aldous Huxley

    #Writing #Cat #Novelists

  • I resist when someone calls me a novelist: it implies some kind of inherent superiority of the novel. I'm not a novelist, I'm a writer.
    -- Aleksandar Hemon

    #Novelists #Kind #Call Me

  • I'm not a novelist, I'm a storyteller. There is no art in what I do, no mystique.
    -- Alistair Maclean

    #Art #Novelists #Storyteller

  • History is the history of human behavior, and human behavior is the raw material of fiction. Most people recognize that novelists do research to get the facts right - how a glove factory works, for example, or how courtesans in imperial Japan dressed.
    -- Amy Waldman

    #Japan #People #Novelists

  • As a novelist, you deepen your characters as you go, adding layers. As a reporter, you try to peel layers away: observing subjects enough to get beneath the surface, re-questioning a source to find the facts. But these processes aren't so different.
    -- Amy Waldman

    #Character #Trying #Novelists

  • The novelist must be his own most harsh critic and also his own most loving admirer and about both he must say nothing.
    -- Angus Wilson

    #Writing #Novelists #Admirer

  • In a rough way the short story writer is to the novelist as a cabinetmaker is to a house carpenter.
    -- Annie Proulx

    #House #Insightful #Novelists

  • Great sorrow or great joy should bring intense hunger--not abstinence from food, as our novelists will have it.
    -- Arthur Conan Doyle

    #Joy #Sorrow #Novelists

  • The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.
    -- Arthur Schopenhauer

    #Writing #Interesting #Novelists

  • I know I'm a rare person, a trained scientist who writes fiction, because so few contemporary novelists engage with science.
    -- Barbara Kingsolver

    #Writing #Novelists #Fiction

  • Horror writers can write about everything in the real world that a mainstream novelist can--plus the supernatural, which is the most fertile field for metaphor imaginable.
    -- Bentley Little

    #Real #Writing #Novelists

  • But here's the thing: what you do as a screenwriter is you sell your copyright. As a novelist, as a poet, as a playwright, you maintain your copyright
    -- Beth Henley

    #Novelists #Poet #Copyright

  • I'm more influenced by novelists than I am by filmmakers.
    -- Billy Bob Thornton

    #Novelists #Filmmaker

  • While the novelist is banging on his typewriter, the poet is watching a fly in the windowpane.
    -- Billy Collins

    #Typewriters #Novelists #Poet

  • I’d like to be remembered as someone who used their ability as a novelist or as a dramatist to say the things he felt needed to be said about the society while being as entertaining as possible. Because if you don’t entertain, nobody’s listening.
    -- Budd Schulberg

    #Listening #Novelists #Said

  • A whim, a passing mood, readily induces the novelist to move hearth and home elsewhere. He can always plead work as an excuse to get him out of the clutches of bothersome hosts.
    -- C. S. Forester

    #Moving #Home #Novelists

  • It is in their 'good' characters that novelists make, unawares, the most shocking self- revelations.
    -- C. S. Lewis

    #Character #Self #Novelists

  • I wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer when I was a kid. If you had told me I would be an artist or novelist when I grew up, I would have laughed in your face
    -- Caleb Carr

    #Kids #Artist #Novelists

  • It is true that novelists are shameless and obey no decent law, and they are not to be trusted on any account, but some Mysteries even they must honor.
    -- Catherynne M. Valente

    #Law #Honor #Novelists

  • I wanted to write about the Korean War, but I had no entry into it that made the kind of sense it needs to make for a novelist.
    -- Chang-Rae Lee

    #War #Writing #Novelists

  • It's almost a sort of fairy story tale, just what a novelist would write about a discovery.
    -- Charles Hard Townes

    #Writing #Discovery #Novelists

  • I'm always determined that as a novelist I'm going to go out there and research my characters very thoroughly before I start writing.
    -- Chris Cleave

    #Writing #Character #Novelists

  • I became a virtuoso of deceit. It wasn't pleasure I was after, it was knowledge. I consulted the strictest moralists to learn how to appear, philosophers to find out what to think and novelists to see what I could get away with.
    -- Christopher Hampton

    #Lying #Thinking #Novelists

  • The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.
    -- Christopher Morley

    #Healing #Novelists #Poet

  • Personally, I have never wished I were a male novelist.
    -- Curtis Sittenfeld

    #Novelists #Males

  • Morality in the novel is the trembling instability of the balance. When the novelist puts his thumb in the scale, to pull down the balance to his own predilection, that is immorality.
    -- D. H. Lawrence

    #Balance #Novelists #Thumbs

  • I am a man and alive. For this reason I am a novelist. And, being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, te scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog....Only in the novel are all things given full play.
    -- D. H. Lawrence

    #Men #Play #Novelists

  • I have an English literature degree. I wanted to be the next great American novelist from a very early age, but I put it aside for a while, because I got very realistic at one point.
    -- Daniel Suarez

    #Age #Novelists #Degrees

  • Don't be a novelist --- be a statistician. Much more scope for the imagination.
    -- Darrell Huff

    #Imagination #Novelists #Scope

  • I think of myself now as a writer, although I wouldn't go as far as to say 'novelist' because that sounds like a Victorian person.
    -- Dawn French

    #Thinking #Sound #Novelists

  • Not all popular novelists are good, but all good novelists are, sooner or later, popular.
    -- Dean Koontz

    #Novelists #Sooner Or Later

  • The Novelist, afraid his ideas may be foolish, slyly puts them in the mouth of some other fool and reserves the right to disavow them.
    -- Diane Johnson

    #Ideas #Novelists #Mouths

  • As far as he can achieve it, readability is as important for the scientific writer as it is for the novelist.
    -- Donald O. Hebb

    #Science #Important #Novelists

  • After I convinced them that I was a harmless novelist, I actually got them to give me a tour of the harem - which is usually off limits for tourists.
    -- Dorothy Dunnett

    #Giving #Tourism #Novelists

  • The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.
    -- E. L. Doctorow

    #Novelists #Historian

  • Things that appear on the front page of the newspaper as 'fact' are far more dangerous than the games played by a novelist, and can lead to wars.
    -- E. L. Doctorow

    #War #Games #Novelists

  • If human nature does alter it will be because individuals manage to look at themselves in a new way. Here and there people - a very few people, but a few novelists are among them - are trying to do this. Every institution and vested interest in against such a search: organized religion, the State, the family in its economic aspect, have nothing to gain, and it is only when outward prohibitions weaken that it can proceed: history conditions it to that extent.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #People #Trying #Novelists

  • Expansion, that is the idea the novelist must cling to, not completion, not rounding off, but opening out.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #Writing #Ideas #Novelists

  • The historian records, but the novelist creates.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #Writing #Novelists #Records

  • It is the function of the novelist to reveal the hidden life at its source: to tell us more about Queen Victoria than could be known, and thus to produce a character who is not the Queen Victoria of history.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #Queens #Character #Novelists

  • A novel is based on evidence, + or -x, the unknown quantity being the temperament of the novelist, and the unknown quantity always modifies the effect of the evidence, and sometimes transforms it entirely.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #Novelists #Fiction #Sometimes

  • It is never possible for a novelist to deny time inside the fabric of his novel: he must cling, however lightly, to the thread of his story, he must touch the interminable tapeworm, otherwise he becomes unintelligible, which, in his case, is a blunder.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #Time #Novelists #Stories

  • People in a novel can be understood completely by the reader, if the novelist can be understood completely by the reader, if the novelist wishes; their inner as well as their outer life can be exposed.
    -- E. M. Forster

    #People #Wish #Novelists

  • Historians tell the story of the past, novelists the story of the present.
    -- Edmond de Goncourt

    #Past #Novelists #Stories

  • The most striking fault in work by young or beginning novelists, submitted for criticism, is irrelevance--due either to infatuation or indecision. To direct such an author's attention to the imperative of relevance is certainly the most useful--and possibly the only--help that can be given.
    -- Elizabeth Bowen

    #Irrelevance #Criticism #Novelists

  • The novelist's--any writer's--object is to whittle down his meaning to the exactest and finest possible point. What, of course, isfatal is when he does not know what he does mean: he has no point to sharpen.
    -- Elizabeth Bowen

    #Mean #Novelists #Doe

  • The novelist works neither to correct nor to condone, not at all to comfort, but to make what's told alive.
    -- Eudora Welty

    #Novelists #Comfort #Alive

  • The few really great-the major novelists ... are significant in terms of the human awareness they promote; awareness of the possibilities of life.
    -- F. R. Leavis

    #Novelists #Fiction #Tradition

  • It is well to start by distinguishing the few really great - the major novelists who count in the same way as the major poets, in the sense that they not only change the possibilities of the art for practitioners and readers, but that they are significant in terms of the human awareness they promote; awareness of the possibilities of life.
    -- F. R. Leavis

    #Art #Novelists #Way

  • Novelists... fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence.
    -- Fay Weldon

    #Fall #Support #Novelists

  • Americans and their desire to be novelists, the American novel should be listed in medical dictionaries alongside Megalomania and Obsessional Neuroses.
    -- Francine du Plessix Gray

    #Desire #Novelists #United States

  • I believe that only poetry counts ... A great novelist is first of all a great poet.
    -- Francois Mauriac

    #Believe #Firsts #Novelists

  • I had thought of writing, actually, and that later on I'd be a novelist.
    -- Francois Truffaut

    #Writing #Novelists

  • The function of the novelist... is to comment upon life as he sees it.
    -- Frank Norris

    #Novelists #Function #Comment

  • I don't like to read novels where the novelist tells me what to think about the situation and the characters. I prefer to discover for myself.
    -- Frederick Wiseman

    #Character #Thinking #Novelists

  • I think of a designer as a processor of information — like a scriptwriter or a novelist.
    -- Freeman Thomas

    #Thinking #Novelists #Information

  • The truth is that I know very few novelists who have been satisfied with the adaptation of their books for the screen.
    -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    #Book #Novelists #Truth Is

  • Things seem to be at a boiling point all the time. In fact, it has been that way my whole life. I find it interesting, and I like the fact that the emotions are in your face all the time. You always know where you stand. None of that "we don't have any racial problems here" attitude that you get, say, up north. All of this is rich fodder for a crime novelist.
    -- George Pelecanos

    #Attitude #Interesting #Novelists

  • I'm proud to be a crime novelist. What I've chosen is the best way to convey the questions I'm trying to raise.
    -- George Pelecanos

    #Trying #Novelists #Proud

  • I've been many kinds of writers in my career: novelist; tele-playwright; short story writer. As a high-school student, I wrote amateur pieces for fanzines, and I've written for Hollywood.
    -- George R. R. Martin

    #School #Careers #Novelists

  • I was a novelist first. But in the mid-'80s, I did work in television for ten years. And yes, that was frequently the reaction to my scripts. People would say, 'You know, George, this is great. We love it, a terrific script, but it would cost five times our budget to shoot this.'
    -- George R. R. Martin

    #Years #People #Novelists

  • Miss Austen had shown the infinite possibilities of ordinary and present things for the novelist.
    -- George Saintsbury

    #Missing #Novelists #Ordinary

  • A novelist is a man who doesn't like his mother.
    -- Georges Simenon

    #Mother #Men #Novelists

  • The materials of the novelist must be real; they must be gathered from the field of humanity by his actual observation.
    -- Goldwin Smith

    #Real #Humanity #Novelists

  • Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
    -- Gore Vidal

    #Novelists #Stories #Southerner

  • To speak today of a famous novelist is like speaking of a famous cabinetmaker or speedboat designer. Adjective is inappropriate to noun.
    -- Gore Vidal

    #Novelists #Adjectives #Nouns

  • I'd defend the right for any novelist to experiment with form or language, but if people don't take to it, don't react by making out that they are thick.
    -- Graham Joyce

    #People #Novelists #Language

  • As a novelist, I suppose I can say that I'm highly articulate. But I know, as a person, in other ways, I'm not always articulate. I think we are all, from time to time, inarticulate, at some level, about some things.
    -- Graham Swift

    #Thinking #Novelists #Levels

  • So far as love or affection is concerned, psychologists have failed in their mission. The little we know about love does not transcend simple observation, and the little we write about it has been written better by poets and novelists.
    -- Harry Harlow

    #Writing #Simple #Novelists

  • It seemed to me you could do anything in comics. So I started doing my thing, which is mainly influenced by novelists, stand-up comedians, that sort of thing
    -- Harvey Pekar

    #Comedian #Novelists #Stand Up Comedian

  • Every novelist should write something for children at least once in his lifetime.
    -- Henryk Sienkiewicz

    #Children #Writing #Novelists

  • When I began to read as an adult, I read almost exclusively novelists of a generation back. I did the Russians, then I started getting more up to date. When you become published and become a reviewer, piles of books come along and you are pushed by fashion and what you are commissioned to do.
    -- Hilary Mantel

    #Fashion #Book #Novelists

  • A woman filled with faith in the one she loves is the creation of a novelist's imagination.
    -- Honore de Balzac

    #Love Is #Imagination #Novelists

  • Only a small percentage of novelists, painters, musicians, scientists, anywhere in the world, are talented. But there are many more in Hollywood than one would expect from looking movies.
    -- Hortense Powdermaker

    #Musician #Novelists #Hollywood

  • What description of clouds and sunsets was to the old novelist, description of scientific apparatus and methods is to the modern Scientific Detective writer.
    -- Hugo Gernsback

    #Sunset #Clouds #Novelists

  • It is at least worth arguing that there is a modicum of the creative novelist in all of us, and that this absorption with how men get out of difficulties, single-handedly and alone if possible, is the stuff of which we weave the warp and woof of our own better dramatic imaginings.
    -- Humphrey Bogart

    #Men #Creative #Novelists

  • By measuring individual human worth, the novelist reveals the full enormity of the State
    -- Ian Mcewan

    #Individuality #Novelists #States

  • Every novelist has a different purpose-and often several purposes which might even be contradictory.
    -- Irwin Shaw

    #Writing #Novelists #Different

  • Novelists tell that piece of truth hidden at the bottom of every lie.
    -- Italo Calvino

    #Lying #Novelists #Pieces

  • A novelist who ranks with Proust , Kafka , Musil and his friend James Joyce as one of the enduring pillars of Modernism.
    -- Italo Svevo

    #Novelists #Pillars #Proust

  • The most original novelist now writing in English.
    -- Ivy Compton-Burnett

    #Writing #Novelists

  • Novelists want to flood, poets want to distill.
    -- J. D. McClatchy

    #Novelists #Want #Poet

  • Just as we bemoan the passing away of the Great Novel, a great novelist is likely to emerge, perhaps even from Denmark or Switzerland, to prove us wrong.
    -- J. M. Coetzee

    #Passing Away #Switzerland #Novelists

  • I don't think any novelist should be concerned with literature…literature should be left to essayists.
    -- Jacqueline Susann

    #Thinking #Novelists #Literature

  • One of the admirable features of British novelists is that they have no scruple about setting their stories in foreign settings with wholly foreign personnel.
    -- James Buchan

    #Novelists #Stories #Scruples

  • I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime novelist who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music.
    -- James Ellroy

    #Novelists #Fiction #Crime

  • The best of our fiction is by novelists who allow that it is as good as they can give, and the worst by novelists who maintain that they could do much better if only the public would let them.
    -- James M. Barrie

    #Giving #Novelists #Fiction

  • There seems almost a general wish of descrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them.
    -- Jane Austen

    #Wish #Novelists #Genius

  • The complexion of a novelist is seldom rosy (Paul Bailey once announced to a heavy-hearted audience of novelists at PEN that we have always been an ugly tribe). We are engaged in indoor activity, haemorrhoidal, prone to chillblains, poor of circulation.
    -- Jane Gardam

    #Novelists #Ugly #Tribes

  • Morality for the novelist is expressed not so much in the choice of subject matter as in the plot of the narrative, which is perhaps why in our morally bewildered time novelists have often been timid about plot.
    -- Jane Rule

    #Choices #Novelists #Plot

  • A novelist is on the cusp between someone who knows everything and someone who knows nothing.
    -- Jane Smiley


  • Novelists never have to footnote.
    -- Jane Smiley

    #Novelists #Footnotes

  • Poets and novelists and playwrights make themselves, against terrible resistances, give over what the rest of us keep safely locked within our hearts.
    -- Janet Malcolm

    #Heart #Giving #Novelists

  • Every Observer writer wants to be a novelist.
    -- Jared Kushner

    #Novelists #Want

  • Life is a very bad novelist. It is chaotic and ludicrous.
    -- Javier Marías

    #Novelists #Life Is #Chaotic

  • Most novelists I know went through a period of intense self-examination and self-loathing after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I certainly did.
    -- Jay McInerney

    #Self #Novelists #World

  • Novelists are always resisting autobiographical readings of their work, because they know how false those can be.
    -- Jeffrey Eugenides

    #Reading #Writing #Novelists