• When you're finally a grown-up, one of the things you find is that there are no grown-ups

    Charles Finch
  • To me, the single biggest mark of the amateur writer is a sense of hurry.Hurry to finish a manuscript, hurry to edit it, hurry to publish it. It’s definitely possible to write a book in a month, leave it unedited, and watch it go off into the world and be declared a masterpiece. It happens every fifty years or so.For the rest of us, the single greatest ally we have is time. There’s no page of prose in existence that its author can’t improve after it’s been in a drawer for a week. The same is true on the macro level – every time I finish a story or a book, I try to put it away and forget it for as long as I can. When I return, its problems are often so obvious and easy to fix that I’m amazed I ever struggled with them.Amateur writers are usually desperate to be published, as soon as possible. And I understand that feeling – you just want it to start, your career, your next book, whatever. But I wonder how many self-published novels might have had a chance at getting bought, and finding more readers, if their authors had a bit more patience with them?

    Charles Finch
  • There's nowhere that life feels more eternal, your dimwit youth more important, than Paris

    Charles Finch
  • The river was glossy, narrow, and quick, a beautiful green color, with the white and maroon striped college punts strung along the near bank. .... The sun, westering, heavy, and hazy, was in those great final throes of energy before the sky whitens and clears, and evening comes. I stood and watched it. That immense body, dying trillions of feet away from me, still warming my face with its steady insensate chemistries

    Charles Finch
  • There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art.The trick is to keep a secret. Or many secrets, even. In Lee Child’s books, Jack Reacher always has a big mystery to crack, but there are a series of smaller mysteries in the meantime, too, a new one appearing as soon as the last is resolved. J. K. Rowling is another master of this technique — Who gave Harry that Firebolt? How is Rita Skeeter getting her info?The art, meanwhile, the thing that makes “Pride and Prejudice

    Charles Finch
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