Ian Fleming was born 28 May 1908, and died 12 August 1964.
- I never correct anything and I never go back to what I have written, except to the foot of the last page to see where I have got to. If you once look back, you are lost. How could you have written this drivel? How could you have used ‘terrible’ six times on one page? And so forth. If you interrupt the writing of fast narrative with too much introspection and self-criticism, you will be lucky if you write 500 words a day and you will be disgusted with them into the bargain.
- I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
- All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders – all maniacs. What else but a blind singleness of purpose could have given focus to their genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania … is as priceless as genius.
- Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
- Writing about 2,000 words in three hours every morning, Casino Royale dutifully produced itself. I made no corrections until the book was finished. If I had looked back at what I had written the day before I might have despaired.
- A woman can put up with almost anything; anything but indifference.
- Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big – bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napoleon had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.
- History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.
- I always make it a rule never to look back. Otherwise, I’d ask myself how I could write such piffle and live with myself, day after day.
- You only live twice: Once when you’re born. And once when you look death in the face.
- If you interrupt the writing of fast narrative with too much introspection and self-criticism, you will be lucky if you write 500 words a day and you will be disgusted with them into the bargain. By following my formula, you write 2,000 words a day and you aren’t disgusted with them until the book is finished, which will be in about six weeks.
Ian Fleming was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer. Although he was best known for his James Bond series of spy novels, he also wrote the children’s story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming 14th on its list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.
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