Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Three Thoughts... from Other Writers, Part II

Three Thoughts… from Other Writers, part II
By Brad R. Cook

Last week, I posted three thoughts from other authors about writing. I liked it so much I wanted to do it again. This time, though, to honor Black History Month, I bring the sage advice of three of my favorite African-American Authors – Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, and Octavia Butler.

1 – “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. 
– Zora Neale Hurston

2 – “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. 
– Maya Angelou

3 – “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice. – Octavia Butler

I will never forget reading Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston in high school, it was the first book to really touch my soul, and taught me the power of books. Maya Angelou is one of my favorite poets. Her work taught me how words should flow. I was never much of a poet until I started reading her poems. I’ll never write poetry like her, but when I do, I try to channel her power. I will admit that I am new to Octavia Butler, I knew of her, of course, but I didn’t really learn about her until a recent Write Pack Radio episode honoring her life. She is an amazing lady and author, and her books are now in my to-be-read pile. But this quote speaks to me as a writer, and so I pass it on to you.

One more just for fun, he isn’t American so I didn’t include him in the official three but here is a great quote from Dumas. Something to remember about all the advice you’ll find online.  “All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.” – Alexandre Dumas

Brad R. Cook, author of the YA steampunk series, The Iron Chronicles. Iron Horsemen - and Iron Zulu -  A member of SCBWI, he currently serves as Historian of St. Louis Writers Guild after three and half years as its President. Learn more at, on Twitter @bradrcook, or on his blog Thoughts from Midnight on tumblr

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