Ideas and Inspiration

According to Southern California Writers

We did not meet with any of these esteemed creative giants who at one time or another lived or made their homes in Southern California. Instead, we researched insights and observations, then made up questions to go with them. Chandler, Didion, Grafton, and the rest really did say these things. Just not to us.

Showcase: Where do your ideas comes from?

Raymond Chandler: A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.

Walt Disney: We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Sue Grafton: Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.

Showcase: What about finding the perfect phrase?

Steve Martin: I really enjoy finding the right word, creating a good, flowing sentence. I enjoy the rhythm of the words.

Showcase: Are there perfect letters?

Steve Martin: I’m tired of wasting letters when punctuation will do, period.

Showcase: How would you characterize ideas in science fiction?

Ray Bradbury: Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.

Showcase: Speaking of changing the world, what role does communication play?

Walt Disney: Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.

Showcase: Any more advice?

Joan Didion: Novels are like paintings, specifically watercolors. Every stroke you put down you have to go with. Of course you can rewrite, but the original strokes are still there in the texture of the thing.

Erle Stanley Gardner: After you’ve written a story, the thing to do is sell it. Sounds simple, and it is, if one will follow certain basic principles of salesmanship.

Steve Martin: You want to be a bit compulsive in your art or craft or whatever you do.

Will Rogers: Nothing you can’t spell will ever work”

Michael Connelly: I think books with weak or translucent plots can survive if the character being drawn along the path is rich, interesting and multi-faceted. The opposite is not true

Showcase: And?

Michael Connelly: Write every day even if it is just a paragraph.

Showcase: Thank you all.


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