Dienstag, 17. April 2018

“Intuition is Essential.” Writing Advice from Gabriel García Márquez / Emily Temple in: Lit Hub April 17, 2018

In the face of the literary world’s ongoing fetish for youth, I often like to remind myself that Gabriel García Márquez didn’t become famous until he was 40. That’s when he published his fourth novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Now, of course, he’s a household name, beloved for his storytelling ability and fantastical imagination (though as he’d tell you, everything in his most famous novel happened—somewhere, to someone). García Márquez is a master of storytelling, but he’s also a master of discipline: above all else, he put in the work. For that alone, we should all listen to his advice. So on the anniversary of his death, here is some collected literary wisdom from one of the all-time greats.
Write what you know:
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.
–from a 1981 interview with The Paris Review

Eschew the “starving artist” cliché:
In general I believe you write better when you have all your creature comforts around you. I don’t hold with the romantic myth that the writer has to be starving and all screwed up before he can produce. You write better if you’ve had a good meal and you’ve got an electric typewriter.

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