Quote of the Day

Shonda Rhimes

(ABC/Image Group LA) SHONDA RHIMES

“I don’t even know who a character is until I’ve seen how they handle adversity.”
Shonda Rhimes

I’m reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown right now, and she includes this quote from an interview she had with writer/producer Shonda Rhimes. Brown uses this quote to talk about how we all deal with adversity and how it can demonstrate who we are, but I think this is also a great quote for writers to keep in mind. We don’t know a character until we see them face a major challenge–and this is when the story has to start. It’s gotta be on the day when everything changes for them, when they face the biggest challenge of their lives. Otherwise, how do we really know them?

When do you feel like you really know your characters? Share in the comments!

Quote of the Day

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”–Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet

Quote of the Day

Since we’re in Jewish Book Month, it feels right to share another great poem from The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 by Peter Cole (translator). This one is by Meshullam DePiera, who was writing in the thirteenth century.

IMG_2482

I love the intensity here–it makes me feel both cautious and powerful. Words matter, people.

Quote of the Day

Quote-MadeleineLEngle-BookstarI love this illustration by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. The quote by Madeleine L’Engle seems particularly apt for Banned Books Week, as her most famous book, A Wrinkle in Time has been on banned and challenged book lists since its publication in the 1960s.

Debbie has lots of other awesome illustrations available for sharing and printing. Make sure to check out her great work and share your enthusiasm for reading!

Quote of the Day

Sound wave
Art is not linear. Neither is the artist’s life, but we forget that. We try to “plan” our life and “plan” our career–as if we could…And yet experience teaches us that life, especially life in the arts, is as much about mystery as it is about mastery.”–Julia Cameron

Reading The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and really digging it. It feels like a book you could just pick up and flip through whenever you needed it.

(image: Sound wave by betmari)

Quote of the Day

“Even though one loses out here and there, and even though one sometimes feels a falling off, one must rally and take courage again, even though things should turn out differently from what one originally intended…For great things do not just happen by impulse but are a succession of small things linked together.”Vincent van Gogh

Take courage, artists. Every day.

(Image: Painter on His Way to Work. Arles, August 1888. oil on canvas)

Quote of the Day

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”William Faulkner

A little inspiration for anyone writing today, especially those of you participating in NaNoWriMo. Forget what anyone else is doing or has done–focus on what you’re doing right now.

(Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number LOT 12735, no. 368.)

Quote of the Day

“I would say to get the character in your mind. Once he is in your mind, and he is right, and he’s true, then he does the work himself. All you need to do then is to trot along behind him and put down what he does and what he says…You’ve got to believe in him. You’ve got to—to feel that—that what—that he is—is alive, and then, of course, you will have to do a certain amount of—of picking and choosing among the possibilities of his action, so that his actions fit the character which you believe in…But the character’s got to be true by your conception and by your experience, and that would include, as we’ve just said, what you’ve read, what you’ve imagined, what you’ve heard, all that going to giving you the gauge to measure this imaginary character by, and once he comes alive and true to you, and—and he’s important and moving, then it’s not too much trouble to put him down.”–William Faulkner

As always, Faulkner finds the perfect words to describe the creation process. So often I feel like I just need to see in my mind what a character is doing. I can’t force it; I just have to let them walk around so I can “put down” what they say and do.

Check out more of Faulkner’s thoughts on writing here (wahoowa!) and check out more quotes on writing here.