Robert Stone was born 21 August 1937 and died 10 January 2015
- The process of creating is related to the process of dreaming although when you are writing you’re doing it and when you’re dreaming, it’s doing you.
- That’s the great thing about literature — it makes the world less lonely.
- There’s only one subject for fiction or poetry or even a joke: how it is. In all the arts, the payoff is always the same: recognition. If it works, you say that’s real, that’s truth, that’s life.
- Nobody really cares whether you do it or not. You have to make yourself do it. I’m very lazy and I suffer as a result. Of course, when it’s going well there’s nothing in the world like it. But it’s also very lonely. If you do something you’re really pleased with, you’re in the crazy position of being exhilarated all by yourself.
- When I teach writing, I do things like take classes to bars and race tracks to listen to dialogue.
- What you’re trying to do when you write is to crowd the reader out of his own space and occupy it with yours, in a good cause. You’re trying to take over his sensibility and deliver an experience that moves from mere information.
- You construct characters and set them going in their own interior landscape, and what they find to talk about and what confronts them are, of course, things that concern you most.
- On a typewriter or word processor you can rush something that shouldn’t be rushed—you can lose nuance, richness, lucidity. The pen compels lucidity.
- The scene is a writer’s study, shabby, drafty but tax-deductible. The writer is reading the last hundred pages of his work in progress. For the past fifty or so, a kind of slow terror has been rising in his breast. All these pages had seemed necessary. They contain many good things. Ironies. Insights. And yet they seem to have a certain ineffable unsatisfactoriness. There is a word to describe this quality, the writer thinks, a horrible word. The B word. He begins to strike his forehead with a sweaty palm.
- When rewriting, move quickly. It’s a little like cutting your own hair.
Robert Stone was an American novelist. He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1975 for his novel Dog Soldiers and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and once for the PEN/Faulkner Awards.
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