Happy Birthday, Seanan McGuire, born 5 January 1978
- You are not the next Stephen King. You are not the next Emma Bull. You are not the next anyone. You are the very first you.
- I’m one of those people who quite literally can’t sit still. I’m always working on something, and I enjoy setting little deadlines and word count goals for myself. It keeps me moving at a decent clip, and I always feel like I’ve accomplished something.
- I started reading voraciously at a very early age, and you can make a case for my being inspired by everything from Bradbury and Baum to Kipling and King.
- Using big words doesn’t make you a better writer, it makes you somebody who figured out how to use a thesaurus. Every word has a purpose and a meaning, but there’s no reason to clutter up what you’re trying to say with a bunch of words that will leave most readers diving for their dictionaries.
- I’m very influenced by classical mythology, folklore from around the world, and classic horror movies. I love old horror comics and the way they compressed the essence of horror into four or five lushly illustrated pages.
- Putting fifty thousand words on paper does not make you a novelist. It means you successfully put fifty thousand words on paper. You should be proud of yourself for that, because dude, it’s difficult to stick with a plot and a concept and an idea and characters for that long, and I salute you. At the same time, you’re not a novelist. Sweating over those fifty thousand words until you’re confident that at least forty thousand of them are good ones is what makes you a novelist. Good luck.
- I’m constantly listening to the people around me, following trends in conversation and natural dialogue, looking for the way that people talk.
- Not everything you write is going to be easy, and not everything you write is going to be fun, and if you think ‘easy’ and ‘fun’ are your rights as a writer, please go find something else to do.
- Read. Read everything you can get your hands on, and learn where you personally draw the lines of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. One man’s classic really is another man’s catastrophe, and learning where you fall will do so much for you.
- Write. Sit down every day and write. Even if it’s just a few lines, it’ll keep you in practice.
- You’re going to suck when you start. Sucking when you start is okay. Every new project, no matter how brilliant the idea at the heart of it happens to be, is going to start by sucking. Just deal with it, and soldier through. Every sentence is a learning experience.
- We have to burn brightly. We can’t burn forever.
Read more at Seanan McGuire’s Fifty Thoughts On Writing
Seanan McGuire is an American author and filker. She is known for her urban fantasy/detective novels featuring October Daye (Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses). Writing under the pseudonym Mira Grant, she published the political thriller/zombie trilogy Newsflesh, which starts with Feed.
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