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Novelist Quotes

I hope you find great value in these Quotes about Novelist from my large collection of inspirational quotes and motivational sayings.

Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
- H. L. Mencken

Related topics: History

As a novelist, I tell stories and people give me money.
Then financial planners tell me stories and I give them money.
- Martin Cruz Smith

My temperament is not geared to that of a novelist.
- Philip Levine

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

 

In effect I am not a novelist, but rather a failed
essayist who started to write novels because he didn't
know how to write essays.
- Jose Saramago

I am a better novelist than a poet, playwright,
or essayist.
- Jose Saramago

A playwright must be his own audience.
A novelist may lose his readers for a few pages;
a playwright never dares lose his audience for a minute.
- Terence Rattigan

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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

The economy of a novelist is a little like that of
a careful housewife who is unwilling to throw away
anything that might perhaps serve its turn.
- Graham Greene

It is the job of the novelist to touch the reader.
- Elizabeth George

To be a novelist, all I need is a pen and a piece of paper.
- Quentin Tarantino

One more recent novelist to come along is Cormac McCarthy.
Him, I like.
- Leslie Fiedler

If you are a novelist of a certain type of temperament,
then what you really want to do is re-invent the world.
God wasn't too bad a novelist, except he was a Realist.
- John Barth

Jane Austen was an extraordinary woman;
to actually be able to survive as a novelist in those days -
unmarried -
was just unheard of.
- Julie Walters

He was interviewed in the early '60s by a young novelist,
Pati Hill.
- George Plimpton

The novel, for me, was an accident.
I really don't consider myself a novelist.
- Wole Soyinka

The novelist must ground his work in faithful study of human nature.
- Goldwin Smith

The essayist has to follow a certain intellectual pattern.
The novelist has the advantage of using fantasy,
of being subjective.
- Manuel Puig

Among the many problems which beset the novelist,
not the least weighty is the choice of the moment at
which to begin his novel.
- Vita Sackville-West

A novelist who writes nothing for 10 years finds his reputation rising.
Because I keep on producing books they say there must
be something wrong with this fellow.
- J. B. Priestley

I don't really consider myself a novelist,
it just came out purely by accident.
- Wole Soyinka

I believe, in a funny way, the job of the novelist
is to be out there on the fringes and speaking for
an experience that has not really been spoken for.
- Donna Tartt

If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist,
not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are
too shaky to perform operations,
he becomes a journalist.
- Norman Mailer

For a novelist, a given historic situation is an anthropologic
laboratory in which he explores his basic question:
What is human existence?
- Milan Kundera

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

In order for a long piece of work to engage a novelist
over an extended period of time,
it has to deal with questions that you find very important,
that you're trying to work out.
- Donna Tartt

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

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

The suspense of a novel is not only in the reader,
but in the novelist, who is intensely curious about
what will happen to the hero.
- Mary McCarthy

As a novelist, I have a somewhat higher soapbox to
stand on than most people do when it comes to talking
back to the merchants of fear.
- L. Neil Smith

I'm mostly a novelist these days, but I have written
short stories in Fantasy,
Science Fiction and horror.
- Sarah Zettel

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

For me, as a beginning novelist, all other living writers
form a control group for whom the world is a placebo.
- Nicholson Baker

I never see a novel as a film while I'm writing it.
Mostly because novels and films are so different,
and I'm such an internal novelist.
- Alice Hoffman

A filmmaker has almost the same freedom as a novelist
has when he buys himself some paper.
- Stanley Kubrick

If the novelist shares his or her problems with the characters,
he or she is able to study his personal unconscious.
- Manuel Puig

I think the hardest part of writing is revising.
And by that I mean the following: A novelist has to
create the piece of marble and then chip away to find the figure in it.
- Chaim Potok

No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived,
but most of them wish they were the only one alive,
and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.
- W. H. Auden

With the marketing pressures driving the book world today,
it's much easier to get the author of a memoir on a
television show than a serious novelist.
- David Halberstam

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

A novelist should not be too intelligent either,
although...
he may be permitted to be an intellectual.
- Anthony Burgess

I never met anybody in my life who says,
I want to be a critic.
People want to be a fireman, poet, novelist.
- Leslie Fiedler

I don't think any novelist should be concerned with literature.
- Jacqueline Susann

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

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

You say that you hope I will be recognized as the best
novelist of my generation.
I want you to know now and know completely that that
would mean to me absolutely nothing.
- Jean Stafford

A novelist has a specific poetic license which also applies to his own life.
- Jerzy Kosinski

The job of the novelist is to invent:
to embroider,
to color, to embellish, to make things up.
- Donna Tartt

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

I get work because I'm primarily a novelist but I've become script doctor.
I can work back and forth between French and English.
- Norman Spinrad

A novelist is, like all mortals, more fully at home
on the surface of the present than in the ooze of the past.
- Vladimir Nabokov

With a novelist, like a surgeon, you have to get a
feeling that you've fallen into good hands -
someone from whom you can accept the anesthetic with confidence.
- Saul Bellow

The novelist must look on humanity without partiality or prejudice.
His sympathy, like that of the historian,
must be unbounded, and untainted by sect or party.
- Goldwin Smith

Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background.
He just didn't know he was a novelist.
All those damn psychiatrists after him,
they didn't know he was a novelist either.
- John Irving

When I'm writing a novel, I'm dealing with a double life.
I live in the present at the same time that I live
in the past with my characters.
It is this that makes a novelist so eccentric and unpleasant.
- John Phillips Marquand

Let's put it this way: if you are a novelist,
I think you start out with a 20 word idea,
and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel.
We, picture-book people, or at least I,
start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.
- Eric Carle

It's like a novelist writing far out things.
If it makes a point and makes sense,
then people like to read that.
But if it's off in left field and goes over the edge,
you lose it.
The same with musical talent, I think.
- Johnny Cash

There's a unique bond of trust between readers and
authors that I don't believe exists in any other art form;
as a reader,
I trust a novelist to give me his or her best effort,
however flawed.
- Dan Simmons

Noir is dead for me because historically,
I think it's a simple view.
I've taken it as far as it can go.
I think I've expanded on it a great deal,
taken it further than any other American novelist.
- James Ellroy

Yes, but also one of the problems for a novelist in
Ireland is the fact that there are no formal manners.
I mean some people have beautiful manners but there's
no kind of agreed form of manners.
- John McGahern

Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual
love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction,
embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there,
among spurious lives.
- Vladimir Nabokov

So, how to stay inside the world of entertainment without
actually getting another job? I felt the only logical
answer was to become a novelist.
So I wrote the first book - driven by some very real
feelings of desperation -
and it worked.
- Lee Child

Manners are of such great consequence to the novelist that any kind will do.
Bad manners are better than no manners at all,
and because we are losing our customary manners,
we are probably overly conscious of them;
this seems to be a condition that produces writers.
- Flannery O'Connor

Dostoevski does not tell you what to think about his legend,
but he requires that you think about it.
The novelist was a deeply religious man and he always
thought many readers missed that point about him.
- Suzanne Fields

Both the historian and the novelist view history as
the struggle of a tiny minority,
able and determined to make judgments,
which is up against a vast and densely packed majority of the blind,
who are led by their instincts and unable to think for themselves.
- Lion Feuchtwanger

It is not the first duty of the novelist to provide
blueprints for insurrection,
or uplifting tales of successful resistance for the
benefit of the opposition.
The naming of what is there is what is important.
- Ian Mcewan

Well, to be honest I think I'm a better short story writer than a novelist.
Novels I find very hard, hours and hours,
weeks and weeks, of conscious thought -
whereas short stories slip out painlessly in a few days.
- Eric Brown

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

There are many reasons why novelists write,
but they all have one thing in common -
a need to create an alternative world.
- John Fowles

Novelists do not write as birds sing,
by the push of nature.
It is part of the job that there should be much routine
and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.
- William Golding

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


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