Happy Birthday, Ridley Pearson, born 13 March 1953
- It comes down to hours and hours of work. I rewrite every novel no fewer than four times, sometimes as many as nine times. You can’t believe how many hours that consumes. It’s ENDLESS. You have to be patient to be a published writer, and you have to practise humility, because the editor (or teacher) is nearly always right.
- Most importantly, pick an amount of time each day, 30 mins, 1 hour, and sit down and DO IT.
- If you read, read, read and study the way various authors make characters come to life on the page you will see that working both with the five senses and internal thoughts can really help.
- I wrote 6-7 hours a day for 8 1/2 years before my first fiction was under contract. I think of it as my graduate school days—although I was “there” long enough to be a brain surgeon.
- I always have a beginning, middle and end in mind when starting a novel. Sometimes I have a 50 page outline. Sometimes only a collection of thoughts on character or plot. But the big mistake first time writers make is filling up the car, getting behind the wheel and starting off driving without knowing a destination. A quick formula for running out of gas.
- I think every fiction writer, to a certain extent, is a schizophrenic and able to have two or three or five voices in his or her body. We seek, through our profession, to get those voices onto paper.
- My advice is to read the character descriptions in the books you love and to especially pay attention to how they speak and what they say as that is what shapes people’s impressions of us and therefore readers’ impressions of characters.
- Being a fiction writer is really like being an actor, because if you’re going to write convincingly it has to sound right and play right. The only way that works is to emotionally and technically act out and see the scene you’re in. There’s no better job in the world, because when I sit down at that computer I’m the world’s best forensics expert, if that’s what I’m writing about that day. Or I’m some crazed psycho running down a dark alley. Or I’m a gorgeous woman looking to find a man that night. Whatever! But I’m all of those things, every day. How can you beat that?
- The way you get better is putting words on the page and getting them behind you.
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Ridley Pearson is an American author of suspense and thriller novels for adults, and adventure books for children. He is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestseller Killer Weekend and the Lou Boldt crime series.
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