Top 232 Novelist Quotes

In this post, you will find great Novelist Quotes from famous people, such as Philip Roth, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Tropper, Sarah Waters, Ann-Marie MacDonald. You can learn and implement many lessons from these quotes.

The novelist's obsession, moment by moment, is with lan

The novelist’s obsession, moment by moment, is with language: finding the right next word.
I’ve been a novelist since 1995 and have had novels in and out of option, and watching that process just made me realize that I have to live by what I teach my students, because I teach screenwriting at Spellman.
Tananarive Due
I’m a novelist first, and I wrote a bunch of books, and everything I write, I just find people are more interesting when there’s an element of humor to it.
Jonathan Tropper
I knew I’d always be a second-rate academic, and I thought, ‘Well, I’d rather be a second-rate novelist or even a third-rate one’.
I started my career as an actor, then morphed into a playwright who accidentally became a novelist with my first book ‘Fall On Your Knees.’
Ann-Marie MacDonald
Research is the historical novelist’s map, constraint, and purest energy.
As a writer – and a romance novelist, no less – I’ve always found it a bit odd when characters in comic books remain in relationship limbo for years at a time.
I was writing from the time I was 12 years old, but I originally wanted to be a novelist.
Nobody in France would ever say ‘He’s a Jewish novelist’ or ‘She’s a black novelist,’ even though people do write about those subjects. It would look absurd to a French person to go into a bookstore and see a ‘Gay Studiessection.
I was always at heart a novelist and wanted to tell a bigger story, so I wanted to create people who told other kinds of truths than literal truths.
Aminatta Forna
I wanted to write about the Korean War, but I had no entry into it that made the kind of sense it needs to make for a novelist.
My whole reputation and creative thought as a novelist is really wrapped around Harry Bosch, so he’s near and dear.
I’m not at all upset to be considered a crime novelist. But for me, it’s never really about the crime or the violence. I’m much more interested in exploring issues.
I started out as a novelist, and I think novels have gotten a little stiff, a little repetitive, and the energy in comics was much more appealing.
The novelist’s intuition for the sacred differs from the translator‘s interrogation of the sacred.
A novel I read when I was about 17 or 18 – ‘The World According to Garp,’ by John Irving – really made me want to become a writer. The character of Garp is a novelist, and at the time, the whole lifestyle of being a writer was hugely appealing to me.
I wanted to be a novelist from a very early age – 11 or 12 – but I don’t think I ever thought I would write historical fiction. I never thought I might write academic history because I simply wasn’t good enough!
Pat Barker
Reading a newspaper is like reading someone‘s letters, as opposed to a biography or a history. The writer really does not know what will happen. A novelist needs to feel what that is like.
I see myself maybe being, like, a movie producer or screenwriter or a novelist or a scientist or mathematician.
I want Tom Clancy, the Maryland novelist, to write the story of the rest of my life.
Novel-writing is, for the novelist, a game of let’s pretend.
The novelist wants to know how things will turn out; the historian already knows how things turned out, but wants to know why they turned out the way they did.
Mark Twain was a great traveler and he wrote three or four great travel books. I wouldn’t say that I’m a travel novelist but rather a novelist who travels – and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
A novelist can never be his own reader, except when he is ridding his manuscript of syntax errors, repetitions, or the occasional superfluous paragraph.
I guess I would say that most of what I’ve learned about storytelling derives from novels and short stories. I cannot think of a novel or story, or a novelist or story writer, who thinks in terms of three-act structure.
Language leads a double life – and so does the novelist. You chat with family and friends, you attend to your correspondence, you consult menus and shopping lists, you observe road signs, and so on. Then you enter your study, where language exists in quite another form – as the stuff of patterned artifice.
Yes, but also one of the problems for a novelist in Ireland is the fact that there are no formal manners. I mean some people have beautiful manners but there’s no kind of agreed form of manners.
My number-one website is It opens you up to different authors and gives insights into the literary world. Reading about the love letters novelist Vladimir Nabokov wrote to his wife Vera blew my mind. Fascinating.
Let’s put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.
Eric Carle
I have that special sort of novelist body of knowledge which is extraordinarily wide and very, very shallow. So I can usually answer the questions on ‘Jeopardy,’ but never the bonus question.
A downside to being a successful novelist? Wow – I can’t imagine one.
Jane Austen was an extraordinary woman; to actually be

Jane Austen was an extraordinary woman; to actually be able to survive as a novelist in those daysunmarried – was just unheard of.
I hadn’t meant to do the pattern of publishing short stories and then a novel. I thought, ‘I’m a novelist. I know it.’ But you have to kind of write a lot of bad novels before you can write a good one, I think, so I did that. But meanwhile, I loved the short stories I did.
In high school, I wanted to be an actress. Until I got to college and took some creative writing courses. Then I decided I wanted to become a novelist.
Novelist and poet David Huddle is a quiet but fabulous writer, and he does adolescent longing better than anyone I know.
Rebecca Makkai
No one looks at a baby and says, ‘You are going to be a great novelist, and you really need to start writing now.’ Something in us says: ‘This is what I must do.’
A straight writer can write a gay novel and not worry about it, and a gay novelist can write about straight people.
A novelist’s lack of awareness of and critical distance to his own body of work is due to a phenomenon that I have noticed in myself and many others: as soon as it is written, every new book erases the last one, leaving me with the impression that I have forgotten it.
You get spoiled as a novelist because you get to be the director and the editor, and you play all the parts, but as a screenwriter, you are a bit down the ladder.
When you are a novelist, you are used to making a narrative do what you want.
If I die, I know the news item would be, ‘Partner of Ricky Gervais and novelist dies.’ That would come first. But I’ve come to terms with it. As long as they do still add the ‘and novelist,’ that will be fine.
I’m always determined that as a novelist I’m going to go out there and research my characters very thoroughly before I start writing.
Chris Cleave
I don’t know if a novelist ever fully detaches him- or herself from what they wrote and the way they wrote it. I can watch ‘Presumed Innocentagain and again, and I will always be bothered by the same things that will never bother anybody else.
I used to describe myself as a comic novelist, but my concerns seem to have darkened over the past few years.
More people thought I was strange because I was a teenage novelist, not because I was from Oklahoma. That’s where I got the looks like I was from the zoo.
I’m a novelist who read a lot as a kid. When you grow up on books and then grow up to write books, famous authors are a lot more meaningful to you than TV and movie stars.
Claire Scovell LaZebnik
If a novelist had concocted a villain like Trump – a larger-than-life, over-the-top avatar of narcissism, mendacity, ignorance, prejudice, boorishness, demagoguery, and tyrannical impulses, she or he would likely be accused of extreme contrivance and implausibility.
Being a novelist and being a mother have exactly coincided in my life: the call from my agent saying that I had a contract for my first novel – that was on my answering phone message when I got back from the hospital with my first child.
Dostoevsky is such a bad writer it is hard to take him seriously as a novelist, though he is a wonderful philosopher.
How can even the best novelist or playwright invent someone like Augustus Caesar or Catherine the Great, Galileo or Florence Nightingale? How can screenwriters create better action stories or human dramas than exist, thousand upon thousand, throughout the many centuries of recorded history?
There are autobiographical elements to the albums, and when I write, I always reference my own life as well as other things, so I’m just like any novelist or any fiction writer who tells stories.
I wanted to be a novelist for so long.
Alice Sebold
I wouldn’t say that I’m a travel novelist, but rather a novelist who travels – and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
A filmmaker has almost the same freedom as a novelist has when he buys himself some paper.
The essayist has to follow a certain intellectual pattern. The novelist has the advantage of using fantasy, of being subjective.
I recognize that I’m probably the luckiest novelist in recent memory, because Sherman Alexie, a writer I greatly admire, raved about my book on ‘The Colbert Report,’ and then Mr. Colbert himself urged his viewers to buy it – on his show and on Twitter.
Edan Lepucki
The art of the novelist is not unrelated to the illness of multiple personality disorder. It’s a much milder form. But the better the book, the nearer to the padded cell you are.
Only a great genius like the Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell can be mother, wife and novelist without solitude. I couldn’t write until my youngest child went to school, and then I began – the first morning – and I’ve never stopped.
Jane Gardam
As a novelist, I remain interested in the notion of a single reckless act and its consequences.
Anita Shreve
It’s funny, because I don’t think of myself as a novelist. I think of myself as a writer.
The novelist is the vestigial bone on the body cinema. We’re like the little toe that can be cut off.
For a novelist, the great thing about the Stone Age people is that we know virtually nothing about their beliefs – which means that I get to make it up! But it’s still got to be plausible.
I've always thought a novelist only has one character,

I’ve always thought a novelist only has one character, and that is himself or herself. In my case, me.
A writer loses possession of her work as soon as it’s reaches its audience. Each reader brings his own experience and prejudice and imagination to the work. Television adaptation just goes one step further, and the novelist has to learn to let go.
Ann Cleeves
My greatest fear is feeling like a professional novelist. Somebody who creates characters, who sits down and has pieces of paper taped to the wall – what’s going to happen in this scene, or this act. What I like is for it to be a much more scary, sloppy reflection of who I am.
The artist deals in what cannot be said in words. The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.
My temperament is not geared to that of a novelist.
Philip Levine
You know, my mom, who inspired me to be a novelist, I remember her reading ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy,’ about Michelangelo, and saying, ‘No mother would want that for her child, no matter how great the artist.’ I have my share of demons, but I am a gregarious sort.
I don’t want to marry anybody, but I certainly wouldn’t want to marry a bad novelist.
I see myself more like a novelist or a polygamist than a musician in terms of my output.
I felt like I haven‘t had the typical experience of a novelist whose book becomes a movie.
What a good novelist does with a throwaway that serves no fictional purpose is throw it away.
I didn’t have a dream of being a press secretary, I had a dream of being a playwright; I had a dream of being a novelist and a poet.
Pearl Cleage
But here‘s the thing: what you do as a screenwriter is you sell your copyright. As a novelist, as a poet, as a playwright, you maintain your copyright.
Beth Henley
I never wanted to be a Cold War novelist.
As a novelist, I ask of myself only that I tell the truth and that I tell it beautifully.
Taiye Selasi
Among the many problems which beset the novelist, not the least weighty is the choice of the moment at which to begin his novel.
Vita Sackville-West
Writing tends to be very deliberate. A novelist could probably run a military campaign with some success. They could certainly run a country.
Every ‘Observer‘ writer wants to be a novelist.
Uzodinma Iweala is a fine and confident novelist.
I try to approach the film medium as a novelist and the novel medium as a filmmaker on some level. It’s that question: Do we think in pictures, or do we think in language? And the novelist believes one thing, and the filmmaker believes another thing – and I’m fascinated by that balance.
Even if there is endless documentation, it would be impossible to know what a man thought inside his own mind… This is where the novelist’s creative imagination has to take over.
Irving Stone
Before I became a suspense novelist, I wrote romantic suspense as Alicia Scott.
Nothing, I find, has prepared me for the sight of my own characters walking about. A playwright or screenwriter must expect it; a novelist doesn’t and naturally concludes that she has gone mad.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m a novelist right now. There is no definite career reason why I became a writer. Something happened, and I became a writer. And now I’m a successful writer.
I don’t think I knew that you could be a novelist. I think a lot of my students are in the same condition. I thought it was unreachable, that it was sort of dead people. It took me a long time – I think I was well into novel writing before I really thought, ‘Actually, this is a valid pastime.’
In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.
The great thing about being a novelist is that you organize your own day.
As a romance novelist, I have a rather skewed view of babies. You see, they don’t typically fit into the classic structure of the romance novel – romance is about two people finding each other and falling in love against insurmountable odds. Babies… well… babies are complicated.
I wasn’t always a novelist. I began my writing career as a journalist, working on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney, Australia, doing the crime beat and court reporting. Having grown up in a small country town, I felt as though I had nothing to write about.
Michael Robotham
A lot of times, in a store, clothes appear strange to me, their cuts or flourishes arbitrary. Why is this look stylish now? How long will it be stylish for? It’s slightly embarrassing to admit this – because, as a novelist, I’m supposed to be observant – but I’m flummoxed by the way other women dress.
I became interested, through reading the works of some novelist, in Egyptology and made a study of the pyramids. It was just a hobby, but I had a desire to know all I could about everything I could.
Well, to be honest I think I’m a better short story writer than a novelist. Novels I find very hard, hours and hours, weeks and weeks, of conscious thought – whereas short stories slip out painlessly in a few days.
Eric Brown
In effect I am not a novelist, but rather a failed essa

In effect I am not a novelist, but rather a failed essayist who started to write novels because he didn’t know how to write essays.
If I truly had the courage of my convictions, I would be a full-blown comic novelist.
To be a novelist, all I need is a pen and a piece of paper.
I am not much of a researcher as a novelist; I write mainly from experience.
I don’t think I’m a natural novelist. Plot is definitely one of my weaker points. I’ve been working on it a long time, and it’s not getting much better.
Rick Bass
I became a novelist because of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ or more precisely, my mother raised me up to be a ‘Southern‘ novelist, with a strong emphasis on the word ‘Southern’ because ‘Gone With the Wind’ set my mother’s imagination ablaze when she was a young girl growing up in Atlanta.
Without a doubt, I was born to want to make cinema, but the kind of cinema I want to make is not like commercial movies, which I enjoy myself, but I wanted to be the kind of filmmaker who wrote original work, sort of like a novelist would who deals with who we are and our times or our relationships.
As a novelist, you could say that I am dreaming while I am awake, and every day I can continue with yesterday‘s dream. Because it is a dream, there are so many contradictions and I have to adjust them to make the story work. But, in principle, the original dream does not change.
I once did an event with Ian Rankin where he said he didn’t really need to do much background research because his books are set in the present, and I just thought: ‘You lucky, lucky beast!’ because as a historical novelist, I live constantly on the edge of wondering whether tissues had been invented.
As a novelist, you deepen your characters as you go, adding layers. As a reporter, you try to peel layers away: observing subjects enough to get beneath the surface, re-questioning a source to find the facts. But these processes aren’t so different.
I’ve been many kinds of writers in my career: novelist; tele-playwright; short story writer. As a high-school student, I wrote amateur pieces for fanzines, and I’ve written for Hollywood.
I’m not an especially male novelist, but I think men are better at writing about men, and the same is true for women. Reading Saul Bellow is a revelation, but he can’t write women. There are exceptions, like Marilynne Robinson‘s ‘Gilead,’ but generally, I think it’s true.
Irish novelist John Banville has a creepy, introverted imagination.
Really, what you should tell a novelist is, ‘Keep going until you finish the draft. Don’t show it to anyone.’
I’m realistic about my career as a novelist. I’m certainly not a superstar and far, far from a household name, but I feel successful.
For a novelist, no matter what, it’s a complete work, even if it’s not published. But if you write a screenplay, and it’s not performed, then it’s a sad and frustrating experience.
I’m a very good storyteller; I have a lot of compassion for people. That’s very useful for a novelist. A lot of novelists are snots. They’re just mean people. I’m not a terribly skilled stylist, nor do I want to be. I want a lot of people to read one of my stories and go, ‘That was pretty cool.’
All my siblings became artists. One’s a novelist, my brother is a painter, my sister was a costume designer.
Caio Fonseca
A house with any kind of age will have dozens of stories to tell. I suppose if a novelist could live long enough, one could base an entire oeuvre on the lives that weave in and out of an antique house.
Anita Shreve
My mother’s husband Harry Bloom was a writer, a novelist, a reporter, and an anti-apartheid activist.
It’s impossible for me to disentangle how much of my storytelling urge is the product of growing up with novelist parents and how much is a genetic legacy from those same parents.
As a novelist, you have to realise that the novel and the film have to live separate lives. They’re just different, like your kids, even if they look alike.
As a novelist, I suppose I can say that I’m highly articulate. But I know, as a person, in other ways, I’m not always articulate. I think we are all, from time to time, inarticulate, at some level, about some things.
I’m not really a mainstream novelist!
The historical novelist has to consider what has actually happened, while the SF writer is dealing in possibilities, but they are both in the business of imagining a world unlike our own and yet connected to it.
Pamela Sargent
Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
If you’re a novelist, as I am in real life, you’re usually so desperate for any kind of feedback.
And I didn’t grow up wanting to be a director. I grew up wanting to be a writer, so for me, that was always the goal – to be a novelist, not a screenwriter. And I think, again, if I didn’t have the novels, maybe I’d be much more frustrated by not having directed yet.
What description of clouds and sunsets was to the old novelist, description of scientific apparatus and methods is to the modern Scientific Detective writer.
Hugo Gernsback
I believe, in a funny way, the job of the novelist is to be out there on the fringes and speaking for an experience that has not really been spoken for.
The suspense of a novel is not only in the reader, but in the novelist, who is intensely curious about what will happen to the hero.
Mary McCarthy
Naturally, it was easier for me to envision becoming a

Naturally, it was easier for me to envision becoming a novelist than it is for most people. I had two great in-house teachers; I had parents who considered a career in the arts a real possibility rather than a dreamy arrow shot into the sky.
I wouldn’t sit down and work at writing a song like a novelist or something.
To sing a song is quite different than to write a poem. I’m not and never will be a novelist, but to write a novel is not the same thing as writing a play. There is a difference in form, but essentially what you’re after is the same thing.
I’ve been a software engineer, a novelist, a journalist, and a manager – and managing developers is easily the trickiest thing I’ve ever done.
Jon Evans
Being a novelist is the adult version of a kid creating a make-believe world. But unlike a child, a writer of fiction has to come up with a structured story, one that has as much meaning for others as it has for her.
It’s like a novelist writing far out things. If it makes a point and makes sense, then people like to read that. But if it’s off in left field and goes over the edge, you lose it. The same with musical talent, I think.
I love the novelist’s freedom of going into different people‘s subjectivity and being able to work with them as characters.
A playwright must be his own audience. A novelist may lose his readers for a few pages; a playwright never dares lose his audience for a minute.
Terence Rattigan
I’m really lucky in that I can do lots of different things. It must be really hard to just be a poet or just be a novelist – a constant cycle of effort and exhaustion and recuperation.
The novelist teaches the reader to comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude. In a world built on sacrosanct certainties the novel is dead.
I’d defend the right for any novelist to experiment with form or language, but if people don’t take to it, don’t react by making out that they are thick.
I didn’t intend to be a novelist. I didn’t intend to be anything. I thought I’d be a journalist.
The trick to being a novelist is to act like an iceberg. Make it seem as if you’re displaying only one-tenth of what you know, and the other nine-tenths isn’t visible and never mind if that part is pure styrofoam!
I’m not a writer; I’m not a novelist.
I get a lot of energy from making things up, which is why I feel I’m a novelist.
For a novelist, it’s kind of an onerous burden to represent an entire culture.
A movie will do in one second, with one image, what it will take a novelist at least a page to describe.
No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.
The job of the novelist is to invent: to embroider, to color, to embellish, to make things up.
You say that you hope I will be recognized as the best novelist of my generation. I want you to know now and know completely that that would mean to me absolutely nothing.
Jean Stafford
Maybe it’s the spy novelist in me looking for a future plot, but I hope the U.S. and its allies are thinking how to operate ‘unconventionally’ in Iraq and Syria in ways that undermine the Islamic State.
I’m a great believer in the novelist being ‘on the scene,’ reporting, traveling, meeting all sorts of people.
I resist when someone calls me a novelist: it implies some kind of inherent superiority of the novel. I’m not a novelist, I’m a writer.
Divergent,’ directed by Neil Burger, displayed an admirable seriousness and some grim verve in laying out the boundaries of novelist Veronica Roth’s dystopia – six segregated but ostensibly harmonious regions defined by their inhabitantsskills.
One of the writers I most admire is Hilary Mantel because in the middle of her career, she just changed paths entirely and became just a totally different novelist.
I think, as journalists, we sometimes are afraid to enter into the emotional lives and the complications of the lives of the people we write about – we don’t really have the space and the room to deal with those things. But as a novelist, that’s precisely what you’re writing about.
Hector Tobar
I’m a competent novelist. I’m getting better. But I’m a really good short story writer.
Tim Pratt
Let me put it this way: I don’t plan to retire. What would I do, become a brain surgeon? I mean, a brain surgeon can retire and write novels, but a novelist can’t retire and do brain surgery – or at least he better not.
For years, I felt I was a novelist, but now I know I can write short fiction.
I’m a big, bombastic novelist and thrill-ride guy. I’m never going to win the National Book Award.
I was going to be the best failed novelist in Paris. That was certainly not the worst thing in the world that one could be.
Playing with different genres and perspectives and ways

Playing with different genres and perspectives and ways of telling stories is one of the perks of being a novelist, but at the same time, I want precision. And in order to be precise about stuff, you have to get personal. Symbolism is very boring.
Linn Ullmann
I couldn’t have been the novelist I was without being the journalist I was.
I’m a novelist: I spend a great part of my day pretending to myself that I’m in a different world, being a different person, faced with decisions I pretend I haven’t created.
Traditional autobiography has generally had a poor press. The novelist Daphne du Maurier condemned all examples of this literary form as self-indulgent. Others have quipped that autobiography reveals nothing bad about its writer except his memory.
I am the luckiest novelist in the world. I was a first-time novelist who wasn’t awash in rejection slips, whose manuscript didn’t disappear in slush piles. I have had a wonderful time.
I’m a novelist. I’m not a crusader, and I’m not an editorial writer. And I’m not writing fiction to convince anybody of anything.
To become a novelist, the most crucial thing one must do is read, read and read again – gradually you begin to think like a writer. Ideas are not found – they are shaped.
I wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer when I was a kid. If you had told me I would be an artist or novelist when I grew up, I would have laughed in your face.
Caleb Carr
If you are a novelist of a certain type of temperament, then what you really want to do is re-invent the world. God wasn’t too bad a novelist, except he was a Realist.
John Barth
Britain proves to be an ideal setting for many a medieval-minded crime novelist, regardless of century.
Things that appear on the front page of the newspaper as ‘fact’ are far more dangerous than the games played by a novelist, and can lead to wars.
My father was a screenwriter, but he was also a novelist.
The painter paints, the musician makes music, the novelist writes novels. But I believe that we all have some influence, not because of the fact that one is an artist, but because we are citizens.
To be true to life, a novel must have an ending that is inevitable given the specific personalities of the characters involved. The novelist must not impose an ending upon them.
The function of the novelist… is to comment upon life as he sees it.
Frank Norris
A novelist, poet and playwright who writes equally well in Shona and English, Charles Mungoshi is Zimbabwe‘s finest and most versatile writer. His life project has been to interrogate the notion of family.
I’m a white, middle-class male who had a happy childhood in Ohio. The world does not need me to be a novelist.
David Quammen
I was a frustrated musician, frustrated designer, frustrated art director, frustrated novelist, right. I’d fail at all these different professions.
It is the job of the novelist to touch the reader.
Yeah, I have the detail-obsessed, controlling personality of a novelist, but I somehow ended up writing plays.
Annie Baker
I am worrying about my country. I feel I have a responsibility as a novelist to do something.
The novelist, quite rightly, fears the psychoanalyst as both an enemy and a usurper.
The writer, the poet, the novelist, are all creators. This does not mean that they invent language; it means that they use language to create beauty, ideas, images. This is why we cannot do without them.
J. M. G. Le Clezio
The contemporary American novelist benefits in a way from being ignored. It makes you angrier and makes you want to go into all of those places where you shouldn’t.
I think it’s restrictive to typecast myself as a novelist because I enjoy other forms of expression. I love literature and I love cinema.
Manners are of such great consequence to the novelist that any kind will do. Bad manners are better than no manners at all, and because we are losing our customary manners, we are probably overly conscious of them; this seems to be a condition that produces writers.
Flannery O’Connor
As an historical novelist – there are few jobs more retrospective. I dumped science at an early age.
You learn different things through fiction. Historians are always making a plot about how certain things came to happen. Whereas a novelist looks at tiny little things and builds up a sort of map, like a painting, so that you see the shapes of things.
Historical fiction is actually good preparation for reading SF. Both the historical novelist and the science fiction writer are writing about worlds unlike our own.
Pamela Sargent
I’ve always been fascinated by how the past impacts the present. For the first half of my career as a novelist, I wrote psychological suspense mysteries. I wanted to be a therapist but was told that while I was a fine diagnostician, I would be a terrible therapist because I wanted to solve everyone‘s problems.
I don’t like to read novels where the novelist tells me what to think about the situation and the characters. I prefer to discover for myself.
Frederick Wiseman
I think that's the most important job of a novelist - t

I think that’s the most important job of a novelist – to bring authority to their writing.
I am a better novelist than a poet, playwright, or essayist.
I am not expecting anyone to feel sorry for me, but when friends ask how it feels to be a debut novelist who has also been long listed for the Man Booker prize, I have to admit that my response has confused me. I am so overwhelmed, so delighted, so honoured and so surprised, I have come out in a violent cold.
I think if I was interested in writing on my own, I would be a novelist – then you could write about yourself, and that would be it. You wouldn’t need anyone else.
As a young, ambitious novelist, writing for kids never crossed my mind.
I don’t mind when people are telling me about their 1971 Firebird, but it’s the same thing as people telling me about their car or something. It’s fine if you have an interest. By talking with me, though, you could be interviewing a novelist about guitars. It’s the same thing, except I don’t write that well either.
I’m a middle-class, middle-brow novelist. And that’s it. It amuses me.
Literature has always been a part of my life. I studied history and literature in college. My mother is a novelist; I grew up around books.
Elliot Ackerman
Farber had a huge effect on me as a writer. I don’t mean I write like him. Farber is, first of all, a great stylist, a great writer. Anyone can read Manny Farber’s film criticism, whether that person is a novelist, a poet, another critic, a historian, and learn a lot about writing by reading him.
I know that sometimes it happens that a novelist is embarrassed about their early works. For me, it’s the opposite: I believe ‘Durable Goods‘ is the best thing I’ve written.
I wouldn’t dream of commenting on Hilary Mantel as a novelist, frankly I’d be grateful if she stayed off my patch as a historian. She is intelligent, she is bright, she is an admirable writer. I happen to find her Tudor novels unreadable, but that’s because I am a Tudor historian.
The novelist must ground his work in faithful study of human nature.
What is the difference between the novelist and the liar? At some moments, I have often wondered.
I know that it’s axiomatic in the film industry that you’re not supposed to let the novelist develop their own story. Well, first of all, that’s kind of up to the novelist – because they don’t have to sell it. But also, I don’t believe it. It’s about trust.
I am a novelist through and through.
I have tried very hard as a novelist to say, ‘Novels are about individuals and especially larger than life individuals.’
I was going to be a great woman novelist. Then the war came along and I think it’s hard for young people today, don’t you, to realize that when World War II happened we were dying to go and help our country.
The novelist’s obligation to remake the sensuous texture of a vanished world is also the historian’s. The strongest fiction writers often do deep research to make the thought and utterances of lost time credible.
I’m a novelist from the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations of British Columbia, both small coastal reserves hugging the rugged shores of the west coast.
Eden Robinson
Political novels are full of pitfalls, particularly for a novelist with strong political leanings.
Working on an adaptation is not as satisfying, because it’s not your original work: you’re interpreting. With ‘L.A. Confidential,’ I loved the book. In that case, I felt I was guardian of the work, staying as true to the novel as I could. I’ve since met the novelist, and he loves the movie and the script.
Whether your mother is a novelist like mine or a third-generation military wife, the idea of a son or daughter being in mortal danger is terrifying.
Elliot Ackerman
Faulkner was the first novelist I read with pen and paper in hand because his technique stunned me.
I stopped being an engaged journalist and became a disengaged novelist.
A good TV writer needs all the same tricks a good novelist has.
Dean Bakopoulos
Sigmund Freud was a novelist with a scientific background. He just didn’t know he was a novelist. All those damn psychiatrists after him, they didn’t know he was a novelist either.
A novelist should not be too intelligent either, although… he may be permitted to be an intellectual.
Anthony Burgess
My affinity, as a novelist, with Dickens has been overstated. I relish the way everything in his prose pulsates with life force, and I’m in debt to him every time I invest inanimate objects with uncanny animism. But his female characters annoy me.
I feel very strongly that where the facts exist, a historical novelist should use them if they’re writing about a person who really lived, because a lot of people come to history through historical novels. I did. And a lot of people want their history that way.
Alison Weir
I started my career as a novelist. ‘Veronica Mars‘ was first imagined as a novel.
My whole life, I’ve wanted to be a novelist.
I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist.

I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist.
I must say, it was a lot easier writing novels than I thought it would be. I think it’s because I’m a novelist at heart, and it took me a while to figure that out.
So, I guess motherhood and the threat of not being able to pay my rent inspired me to be a novelist. But as far as what inspired me to be a writer, it’s the stories. It sounds very cliched, but the stories rise up and demand to be told. They always have done, long before I became a writer.
My goal as a novelist is to create smart entertainment, books that keep bright people up too late, that make them want to read just one more chapter. Books that have ideas threaded in amidst the thrilling bits, ideas that I hope linger even after people close the book.
Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives.
I had thought of writing, actually, and that later on I’d be a novelist.
Francois Truff
For me, as a beginning novelist, all other living writers form a control group for whom the world is a placebo.
It is not the first duty of the novelist to provide blueprints for insurrection, or uplifting tales of successful resistance for the benefit of the opposition. The naming of what is there is what is important.
I am not an academic who happens to have written a novel. I am a novelist who happens to be quite good academically.
I never see a novel as a film while I’m writing it. Mostly because novels and films are so different, and I’m such an internal novelist.
The dominant and most deep-dyed trait of the journalist is his timorousness. Where the novelist fearlessly plunges into the water of self-exposure, the journalist stands trembling on the shore in his beach robe.
Even when I was living below the poverty line as a novelist, I was still living better than 99.5% of the human population of the world. But in my little, soft realm of trying to amuse a few dozen middle-class people with my books and articles, I did struggle to survive in my own way.
Not until my middle thirties did I consider myself a novelist.
It’s too easy to unconsciously echo another novelist’s voice while reading fiction, a habit of mimicry I probably picked up as a musician.
I get work because I’m primarily a novelist but I’ve become script doctor. I can work back and forth between French and English.
Norman Spinrad