Quotes from Gerrold

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Here's a few
Star Trek is a vastly overrated experience, a lot like cotton candy. It looks attractive, but there's nothing of substance there.
You never hear anyone say "That would violate the Prime Directive," immediately followed by, "Okay, that's it then. Let's go home."
Star Trek is the McDonald's of science fiction. If you're in the mood for a Big Mac, it's fine. But I'm spoiled, I prefer prime rib.
Dealing with Star Trek fans is like being gummed to death by tribbles.
I've been chasing the state of the art for as long as I can remember. But now I chase it from two steps behind. It's cheaper.
A good script can survive everything except the egos of the people it's handed to.
I came. I wrote. I collected my check and went home.
Okay, here's what I'd do with a timebelt. I'd go forward about two hundred years or so and take a tourist trip to the moon. I'd rent a spacesuit and visit Tranquility Base. Then I'd pop back to July 20, 1969, so I could be the first person to shake Neil Armstrong's hand when he came down from the lander....
The audaciousness of the young writer is frequently compelling. But more often annoying. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. From both sides now.
All writers are insane. The ones we think are sane are just good at behaving themselves in public.
Remember, 90% of what writers do is plan revenge.
90% of being a storyteller is thinking up nasty things to do to people you like
Anytime someone tells me I've written something offensive, I thank them. You don't discover truth by being nice. You discover truth by being ruthless in your pursuit of it. And the ruthless pursuit of truth is often offensive.
I must have written it myself. I don't remember anyone sitting on my lap.
The following authors have used first person without ill-effects: Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, Herman Melville, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and (correct me if I'm wrong) Dante Alighieri. The prejudice against first person is stupid. The writer should write his story in the voice that is most appropriate to the material. All other considerations are irrelevant.
Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and sell to F&SF. (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.)
Good writing is like good masturbation. If you're not enjoying it, no one is.
I'm not an expert. I'm just an amateur who doesn't know how to quit. Maybe I can learn something from you?
I've heard it said that there are only 37 basic stories, only six essential plots, only three. Actually, there are only two:
Getting even.
Getting better
All stories are "man against himself." Everything else is the canvas.
Everything I know about writing can be explained in one sentence: Always be precise -- or something like that.
Authors are sadists. Look at what we do to our characters.
The more you write, the more you discover. If you're doing it right.
Non-fiction deals with facts. Fiction deals with meaning.
"Write what you know" only works if you're willing to get out of the house more often.
The first trick in writing is to train the people around you to leave you alone.
Write what you like reading. Write the book you most want to read, but you can't find in the library.
My problem is I move my lips when I type. I'm not kidding. I speak the words aloud as I type them. If it's clumsy to say, it's clumsy to read. If I can hear the rhythm of the words as I speak them, the reader will feel that same rhythm when he reads; the result is prose that flows. (There was one author, I won't say his name, but I couldn't read his books; his stories were fascinating, but his sentences were so klunky they hurt.)
Literary reputation? I don't remember getting one of those.
The audience will suspend disbelief, they won't suspend common sense.
A thought occurred to me.... Fortunately, I got it down on paper before it died of loneliness. That's what writing is about.
Most people don't know how to use language because they don't know what language can do.
I have worked as a writer and an editor and a teacher of communication skills, so I am particularly sensitive to misspellings, misuse of grammar, and flagrant illiteracy. If you caught me in one of those errors, I would be more embarrassed than if you caught me with a white house intern.
You can't be a writer until you first become a human being. Most people think that they can skip the first part and pick it up later. It shows in their work.
Nobody ever wrote a great book by accident.
The writing process is not mysterious. It is not uncontrollable. You just think it is. That's what stops you.
I don't teach writing. I train writers.
You can't really teach writing, but you can teach techniques. The best writing instructors are a little bit like nursemaids and a little bit like Socratic masters. And a little bit like drill sergeants working with live ammunition.
What's the difference between writing and being a writer? Well, writing involves sitting and typing and sitting and typing and sitting and typing and sitting and typing. Being a writer means going to conventions and sitting on panels and talking about how hard it is to sit and type.
A man's speech should exceed his grasp, else what's a metaphor?
I kant stop.......
Those who liveth by the word should not writeth on spec.
Writing as catharsis? No. Writing is fun. Please do not make the mistake of assuming my stories are work-therapy from the outpatient clinic. I actually know what I'm doing here.
All fiction is lies. Good fiction is lies based on truth.
Writing is nothing more than list-making. Those who seek to make it more than that are just making the job harder for themselves.
As long as they pay for the privilege of reading it, I don't care if they buy it on stone tablets.
I want to write a story named "What's Up?" -- just so the file on the computer can be named "what's up.doc."
I'm in the business of selling David Gerrold books. Sometimes my publishers are too.
Hey, I suffered for my art! Now, it's your turn.
It's hard to write a book that's all bad. I know. I've tried. I couldn't do it. Little bits of brilliance kept creeping in.
A book can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. If it takes longer than 3 years, you've died.*
http://www.gerrold.com/author-quotes/page.htm

Found while reviewing his webpage prior to the second crack at The War Against The Chtorr-Invasion which I will reopen in bed this evening. I'm Giddy.....
 
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