Fans of Olive Kitteridge have been anxiously awaiting a second Olive novel. To celebrate the release of Olive, Again, here are eight Elizabeth Strout quotes about reading and writing.
It's tremendously hard work. Yes, I love arranging the words and having them fall on the ear the right way and you know you're not quite there and you're redoing it and redoing it and there's a wonderful thrill to it. But it is hard.
I actually see myself in all my characters. In order to imagine what it feels like to be another person I have to use my own experiences and responses to the world.
I do write by hand. I just think—I don't know, it's a physical thing for me. It's a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.
I'm writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who's willing to take the time, who's willing to get lost in a new world, who's willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.
I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.
I don't think there was a particular book that made me want to write. They all did. I always wanted to write.
I don’t think there’s anybody I write about who I don’t care for deeply in some way, no matter what their behavior is.
I don’t think of myself as a fast reader. I just read a lot. When someone else might think, “I might do the dishes,” I don’t. But then the dishes multiply.
For advice about writing compelling stories, check out this article about writing in medias res.
In WD University's 12 Weeks to a First Draft, you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft. Register today!