I came across this quote while researching for examples to demonstrate to a new young writer the difference between tell and show.
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
A fine example on the need to write as if you are the protagonist and all your senses are vibrating.
Another quote quoted that a writer needs to have scribbled a million words before they start getting passable at the craft. I’m not convinced of that although it depends on whether you can include forum posts, blogs, and school excuse letters for your kids. As for stories and novels I’ve completed, I checked my Excel spreadsheet in which I store all relevant details and the sum is 800,000 words. Bah, no wonder big important agents and publishers are ignoring me. Another excellent quote is from the late Isaac Asimov:
“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do
nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again
and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you
will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.
That was sent to me directly from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. Thanks, Maria for that inspiring kick up the ass for me She (lucky meow) works there where the Hubble Telescope is managed. She rubs shoulders with visiting astronauts and is an important cog in that wonderful machine. It gives me a tingle to think she’s had one of my stories in there inches away from a real astronaut!
I did send an e-mail to an astronaut at the International Space Station when I was writing my Left Luggage sci fi novel. I needed to know what the exterior struts were constructed of and couldn’t find it on the web. NASA’s website told me which astronauts were up there and after a bit more research I found the e-mail address of one of them. Within an hour he’d sent back a link on the web that told me which aluminium alloy they were. Excellent because it was crucial to my story that the struts could not be magnetic. Having said that the astronaut expressed a miniscule amount of concern that micrometeorites have no difficulty punching holes in aluminium! But as the Asimov quote implores, I write and submit; write, revise and submit.