Colin Greenland

Literary Birthday – 17 May – Colin Greenland

Happy Birthday, Colin Greenland, born 17 May 1954.


  1. Plotting is like sex. Plotting is about desire and satisfaction, anticipation and release. You have to arouse your reader’s desire to know what happens, to unravel the mystery, to see good triumph. You have to sustain it, keep it warm, feed it, just a little bit, not too much at a time, as your story goes on. That’s called suspense. It can bring desire to a frenzy, in which case you are in a good position to bring off a wonderful climax.
  2. Plotting isn’t like sex, because you can go back and adjust it afterwards. Whether you plan your story beforehand or not, if the climax turns out to be the revelation that the mad professor’s anti-gravity device actually works, you must go back and silently delete all those flying cars buzzing around the city on page one. If you want to reveal something, you need to hide it properly first.
  3. If you aspire to be a writer, there are three things you must do:
    Write today.
    Write tomorrow.
    Write the day after.

Colin Greenland is a British science fiction writer. His best-known novel is Take Back Plenty (1990), winner of both major British science fiction awards, the 1990 British SF Association award and the 1991 Arthur C. Clarke Award. His partner is author, Susanna Clarke.

Source for image

Patrick Nielsen Hayden from Brooklyn, NY, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Source for quotes A-Z & Goodreads

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 16th May 2022