The Saturday Writing Quote — Tim O’Brien

“For me, a good story embraces both the ordinary and the extraordinary. I’m not interested in simply holding up a mirror to the world. I’m not interested in reporting on actualities and calling the result fiction. To my taste, a good story is a mix of the so-called real world and a much more mysterious and elusive interior world we all live in.”
– Tim O’Brien, American novelist, b. 1946 (“The Things They Carried; Going After Cacciatto“)

[What I tell beginning writers] “Be stubborn. Be tenacious. Commit yourself to the inevitability of failure. Sentences are going to fail, chapters … whole books … [P]ay close attention to [your] own life. Don’t avoid your own passions and fears. There’s a tendency, I think, to sublimate it all, or to become so oblique as to avoid entirely that which has hurt you or that which has jerked you awake at night. I know of no rule that commands a writer to be subtle at all costs. At times, I believe, it doesn’t hurt to be blunt.”
– Tim O’Brien

Both quotes excerpted from a July 2010 interview in The Writer