Literary Birthday – 8 January – Terry Brooks

Happy Birthday, Terry Brooks, born 8 January 1944.


  1. There is poetry in fiction. If you cannot see it and feel it when you write, you need to step back and examine what you are doing wrong. If you have not figured out how to write a simple declarative sentence and make it sing with that poetry, you are not yet ready to write an entire book.
  2. If anything in your life is more important than writing – anything at all – you should walk away now while you still can. Forewarned is forearmed. For those who cannot or will not walk away, you need only to remember this. Writing is life. Breathe deeply of it.
  3. Writing fantasy lets me imagine a great deal more than, say, writing about alligators, and lets me write about places more distant than Florida.
  4. What you write chooses you.
  5. I am incomplete without my work. I am so closely bound to it, so much identified by it, that without it I think I would crumble into dust and drift away.
  6. If you do not hear music in your words, you have put too much thought into your writing and not enough heart.
  7. This is for writers yet to be published who think the uphill climb will never end. Keep believing. This is also for published writers grown jaded by the process. Remember how lucky you are.
  8. Fantasy is the only canvas large enough for me to paint on.
  9. The muse whispers to you when she chooses, and you can’t tell her to come back later, because you quickly learn in this business that she might not come back at all.
  10. We forget that what matters begins with the imagination.
  11. I still approach each book with the same basic plan in mind – to put some people under severe stress and see how they hold up.
  12. If you are ever completely satisfied with something you have written, you are setting your sights too low. But if you can’t let go of your material even after you have done the best that you can with it, you are setting your sights too high.

Terry Brooks is an American writer of epic fantasy fiction. He has written 23 New York Times best-sellers with 21 million copies of his books in print. He is the author of the Shannara Trilogy, which began with The Sword of Shannara.

Source for Image: Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 8th January 2014