Literary Birthday – 15 March – James N. Frey

Happy Birthday, James N. Frey, born 15 March 1943.

Nine Quotes

  1. Most writers I know are writers because they have an inner fire that will burn them up if they don’t write.
  2. Writer’s block is real. It happens. Some days you sit down at the old typewriter, put your fingers on the keys, and nothing pops into your head. Blanko. Nada. El nothingissimo. What you do when this happens is what separates you from the one-of-thesedays-I’m-gonna-write-a-book crowd.
  3. To set a forest on fire, you light a match. To set a character on fire, you put him in conflict.
  4. Fiction can be more real to the reader than reality itself because fiction is the essence of life.
  5. It has been said that Ernest Hemingway would rewrite scenes until they pleased him, often thirty or forty times. Hemingway, critics claimed, was a genius. Was it his genius that drove him to work hard, or was it hard work that resulted in works of genius?
  6. Novel writing is like heroin addiction; it takes everything you’ve got.
  7. Now you know why when you told your mother you wanted to be a writer, she cried.
  8. Readers find most flashbacks intolerable. Yet a lot of neophyte writers flash back like mad. Why? No one but the Creator of the Universe knows for sure, but there is a likely answer: they find the conflicts in the ‘now’ of the story produce anxiety in themselves.
  9. Fiction, my friend, is a teaching tool, teaching us about life.

James N. Frey On Writing

James N. Frey is an American writer and creative writing teacher. Frey is best known for his book called How to Write a Damn Good Novel. He was selected Honored Teacher of the Year in 1994 for his novel writing classes at the University of California, Berkeley.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th March 2015