Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Words of Wisdom from Charlaine Harris

I spent last weekend at the California Crime Writers Conference, a biennial event that I highly recommend to anyone interested in researching, writing, pitching, and marketing any kind of writing.

One of our two keynote speakers was the delightful Charlaine Harris, author of a variety of cozy mystery series, including the Sookie Stackhouse series, which became the TV series True Blood.

As I said, Charlaine is delightful. She's Southern (which may be relevant), and full of charm. Also full of excellent one-liners. Rather than try to rephrase her talk, I'm simply going to transcribe the notes I took. I hope they provide you motivation for any of your creative efforts!

"I'm still so insecure about what I'm doing that I'm afraid to read a book on writing, because I'm afraid to learn I've been doing it wrong."

"What I know for sure:
1. This is hard work. It never gets easier, it just gets easier to see the hard spots coming up.
2. Writing is a business.
3. Not only your protagonist needs to be a three-dimensional character. They all do."

"Real writers don't want to give their plots away at parties." (TK's note: Mostly they don't want to be at parties talking to people.)

"That's as daredevil as I get: writing without an outline."

"Being a writer requires finishing a book ... so much for the creative process. Show up every day, finish a book."

"The best way to learn to write is by writing"

"Why do this job at all? Because ultimately, this is the best job in the world."


  1. True, especially about the party thing ... Bill Zahren

    1. Haha, yes. Her larger story was that writing wasn't standing around at parties with people saying "tell me about your plot." Sounds like hell to me!


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