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Jill McCorkle Quotes
I feel very protective in the first draft, when all the pieces are coming together. I work in a way that is not linear or chronological at all, even with the short story. I will just be writing bits and pieces, and then when I have all the pieces on the table, that for me is when it feels like the real work begins.
For me, a happy ending is not everything works out just right and there is a big bow, it's more coming to a place where a person has a clear vision of his or her own life in a way that enables them to kind of throw down their crutches and walk.
Certainly if I were to think in terms of a field that would have required a different mode of education, I think I would have leaned in the direction of being a therapist. And without the education, or a different kind of education, I think my first choice would be a landscape architect. I love to garden.
I always tell my students, 'If you walk around with your eyes and ears open, you can't possibly live long enough to write all the novels you'll encounter.'
For years, I felt I was a novelist, but now I know I can write short fiction.
I like to think I put some of myself in every character.
By limiting or denying freedom of speech and expression, we take away a lot of potential. We take away thoughts and ideas before they even have the opportunity to hatch. We build a world around negatives - you can't say, think, or do this or that.
Building a dollhouse is a lot like writing a novel because you are God of the Universe.
I once had a story editor ask me not to use the word 'placenta.' I wanted to say: 'Now tell me again how you got here?' Oh, right, an angel of God placed you into the bill of the stork.
My joy as a writer is circling around and around and down and down to find out who the real person is.
I was with my dad 20 years ago as he was dying. I was there at the moment of his death, and I kept wondering the whole while what it must feel like from his point of view to still be there thinking, hearing all that was going on as people came and went, and life continued all around him.
It's one of the most basic laws of human nature, isn't it? The more we are denied something, the more we want it. The more silence given to this or that topic, the more power.
The first draft is all about freedom, and if loyalty is in question, it is only my loyalty to the characters and situations on the page. All the worries about where the material may have sprung from or what so-and-so might think can be dealt with later.
You want to feel that your reader does identify with the characters so that there's a real entry into the story - that some quality speaks to the individual.
By the time I sit down ready to write, I've done a lot of longhand and a lot of note collecting along the way.
Humor - I see it as a survival skill.
I am very interested in that fine line between fiction and reality and between comedy and tragedy - and pushing the line as much as possible.
I think too many people edit themselves way too soon. There's plenty of time to edit, and it is a crucial part of it all, too.
Sometimes I do feel like I write the same story again and again. And for me, I am always looking for a place with a kind of redemption.
One day, when my son was eight, he came into the kitchen while I was cooking and said: 'You put bad words in your books, don't you?' No doubt he had overheard my mother, who often tells people who ask about my work: 'Well, you'll never find her books in the Christian bookstore.'
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