Write What You Know

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsPeter Stone: “Do you think that it’s common for young writers to deny the worth of their own childhoods and experiences and to intellectualize as you did initially?”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “No, the process usually takes place the other way around, but if I had to give a young writer some advice I would say to write about something that has happened to him; it’s always easy to tell whether a writer is writing about something that has happened to him or something he has read or been told. Pablo Neruda has a line in a poem that says ‘God help me from inventing when I sing.’ It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.”

Excerpt from Peter Stone’s interview with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “The Art of Fiction,” that appeared in The Paris Review No. 82 (Winter 1981 issue).

Read related posts: William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
The Best Advice for Writers
Hope for a Second Opportunity on Earth
You Only Have Your Emotions to Sell

For further reading: theparisreview.org/interviews/3196/the-art-of-fiction-no-69-gabriel-garcia-marquez

 

 

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