Happy Birthday, Claire Cook, born 14 February 1955
- If you truly want to reinvent your life, you’re going to have to learn to say yes. Even if it feels selfish. Or scary.
- I think the sensitivity that makes someone a good writer is a double-edged sword. And when you’ve put your heart and soul into something, it’s hard to open yourself up to potential criticism.
- The biggest challenge is to pick one idea, and stick to it until you finish the book. Every day something happens that will keep you from finishing your pages if you let it. So don’t let it.
- Read everything you can get your hands on; you can’t be a writer unless you’re an avid, joyful reader.
- How do you know when it’s ready to submit? My advice is to polish, polish, and polish, then put it aside for a while, take it out and polish it again.
- My novels always begin with the characters, and I guess that’s because I love people and my books are character-driven. If your books are plot-driven, maybe you’d start there.
- If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.
- Read your work out loud. You’ll absolutely pick up mistakes you’d otherwise miss. This is particularly helpful with dialogue. If it doesn’t sound like something someone would actually say, it won’t come out of your mouth right. But this technique also helps me hear other mistakes and to find the rhythm of my work.
- Just write the best story you can write.
Claire Cook is an American author. Her novels include Must Love Dogs, Seven Year Switch, and Never Too Late.
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