I went over to the Brainy Quote website and searched on “writing” — it works like a big endless writing prompt.
This one from one of my favorite thriller/suspense authors, Harlan Coben. caught my eye:
“Let me back up a little and tell you why I prefer writing to real life: You can rewrite. A novel, for example, can be cleaned up, altered, trimmed, improved. Life, on the other hand, is one big messy rough draft.”
Ain’t that the truth?
I have to say, however, that even if I could rewrite the past, I can only think of one thing I’d change, and that is to erase cigarettes from those years I was a smoker. Just in case you wondered, I quit for good on January 1st, 1982.
Not that I didn’t make other mistakes along the way. It’s just…well…if you erase a mistake in real life, you also have to erase all the good things that might have come from that error in judgement. It’s the ripple effect. Butterfly wings and tiny breezes.
If you think you’ve made a big plot mistake in your manuscript and delete it, then discover the unintended consequences of that change are catastrophic, you can change it back. Ta da!
If you kill a character, and then discover you’ve destroyed half your book, you can go back to the previous version, resurrect the guy, and carry on.
Real life is not like that. We are the authors of our own stories, and we must try our best to get life right the first time so that ripple effect does not wash us out to sea.
Have you ever used Brainy Quote as a writing/bogging prompt? Try it. I think you’ll like it. You can start with a little Robert Frost:
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Here’s one from journalist Dave Barry to get you going:
“Violence and smut are of course everywhere on the airwaves. You cannot turn on your television without seeing them, although sometimes you have to hunt around.”
Please drop by tomorrow to welcome my first guest here at the new website/blog: Mystery writer Mar Preston.