Fiction Writer Quotes

We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Fiction Writer Quotes from Harold Brodkey, Roxane Gay, George Packer, Deborah Harkness, Robert J. Sawyer. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.

If you like to read, sometimes it's interesting just to

If you like to read, sometimes it’s interesting just to go and see what the reality is, of the word, of the seedy or not so seedy fiction writer, the drunk or sober poet… Sometimes you can go looking for illumination.
Harold Brodkey
Everyone else thinks I’m a nonfiction writer. I think it’s because my nonfiction is easier to find. But I write both in equal measure. I love writing fiction because I can totally lose myself, and I get to make up the rules of the world that I’m writing.
Roxane Gay
I am not a pure fiction writer, nor am I an academic writer. Somehow I ended up in this blended area of literary journalism.
George Packer
I never had a plan to be a fiction writer. It’s something that happened to me. Sometimes I think maybe it was my spectacular mid-life crisis. Some people buy expensive cars, and I wrote a novel.
Deborah Harkness
You can’t be a 21st-century science fiction writer writing about Mars without doing tips of the hat to Edgar Rice Burroughs, to Ray Bradbury, to H.G. Wells, to the guys who first put it in the public imagination that Mars was an exciting place.
Robert J. Sawyer
As a fiction writer, my favorite tools are my imagination and the peculiar opportunities offered by different points of view.
Stewart O’Nan
The thing about being a mystery writer, what marks a mystery writer out from a chick lit author or historical fiction writer, is that you always find a mystery in every situation.
Tana French
George Orwell is half journalist, half fiction writer. I’m 100 percent fiction writer… I don’t want to write messages. I want to write good stories. I think of myself as a political person, but I don’t state my political messages to anybody.
Haruki Murakami
There are autobiographical elements to the albums, and when I write, I always reference my own life as well as other things, so I’m just like any novelist or any fiction writer who tells stories.
John Legend
I’m not a science fiction writer, I’m a physicist.
Michio Kaku
I came to the conclusion that I am not a fiction writer.
Tim LaHaye
Usually, as a fiction writer, you get e-mails saying, ‘I liked your book,’ or ‘I didn’t like it.’ You don’t get something saying, ‘I’m really glad this is in the world.’
Darin Strauss
I do understand my limitations as a fiction writer, which is why my novels are always going to be close to home.
Geoff Dyer
When I’m identified as a fiction writer at parties, the question comes pretty quickly. ‘Did you go to school for it?’ someone asks. ‘Yes,’ I say. ‘Where?’ they ask, because I don’t usually offer it. ‘I went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,’ I say.
Alexander Chee
By the time I wrote my memoir, ‘Men We Reaped,’ I had been running from writing it for a long time. When the events in the book were happening, I knew I’d probably write about them one day. I didn’t want to. I’d studied fiction, and I was committed to establishing myself as a fiction writer first.
Jesmyn Ward
As a fiction writer, all I need is a laptop, and when I’m not teaching, I travel as much as I can, applying for every research grant and overseas gig I hear of, then trying to extend those trips as far as the stipends will go. I love to travel alone.
Molly Antopol
Is the biographer an artist who can and should exist on equal terms with the dramatist, fiction writer and poet? The short and robust answer is, ‘Certainly not.’
Tom Paulin
Historical fiction is actually good preparation for reading SF. Both the historical novelist and the science fiction writer are writing about worlds unlike our own.
Pamela Sargent
No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, don’t confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader.
Cynthia Ozick
Being a fiction writer makes you someone who works with irresponsibility.
Orhan Pamuk
I think part of what I like about being a fiction writer is that I can inhabit something that’s beyond the limits of my own personality.
Jenny Offill
I am honorary President of the American Humanist Society, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that utterly functionless capacity. We Humanists behave as well as we can, without any rewards or punishments in an Afterlife.
Kurt Vonnegut
When I think about myself as a writer, for sure I am a science fiction writer. The tools of extrapolation, the tools of anticipating the future – those are science fictional questions.
Paolo Bacigalupi
It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.
Flannery O’Connor
We want a world with both historians and novelists, don’t we? Not with one or the other. Every fiction writer crosses the line that divides artistry and documentation – or erases it.
Alan Cheuse
The best thing about being a fiction writer is that where the truth is inconvenient, I could veer away.
Kaui Hart Hemmings
I believe any fiction writer is inspired by real life.
Ravi Subramanian
Prose is admittedly an art rooted in social intercourse, and a fiction writer is faster to find a common denominator with his cell mates than a poet is.
Joseph Brodsky
I don’t write tracts, I write novels. I’m not a preacher, I’m a fiction writer.
Ursula K. Le Guin
I wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer when I was a kid. If you had told me I would be an artist or novelist when I grew up, I would have laughed in your face.
Caleb Carr
I’ve read science fiction my whole life. I never really dreamed that I’d be a published science fiction writer myself, but a short story I started years ago sort of demanded to be turned into a novel.
Ramez Naam
I had liver disease. I’m completely cured now, but I thought about if I died from liver cancer, what my life would look like. I followed this wish of being a fiction writer.
Min Jin Lee
I love historical fiction because there’s a literal truth, and there’s an emotional truth, and what the fiction writer tries to create is that emotional truth.
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Any fiction writer who assumes that a character is typical no doubt runs the risk of stumbling into cliche and stereotype.
Alice McDermott
I’m a neurotic fiction writer who’d like to be a cowboy.
Thomas McGuane
Poetry was my dirty little secret when I was a fiction writer at Iowa, and then fiction became my dirty little secret when I started writing more poetry and working for ‘Rookie’.
Jenny Zhang
I quickly learned that as a fiction writer, you need the sort of details a historian or a biographer would find extraneous or useful to provide context via a footnote.
Alexander Chee
Creative non-fiction is such a liberating genre because it allows the non-fiction writer, whether he or she be journalist or essayist, to use all of the techniques of the fiction writer and all of the ideas, creative approaches, that fiction writers get a chance to use, but they have to use it in a true story.
Lee Gutkind
A non-fiction writer pretty much has the shape of the figure in front of him or her and goes about refining it. A work of non-fiction is not as difficult to write as a work of fiction, but it’s not as satisfying in the end.
Chaim Potok
If you just take me as a fiction writer, then you’re probably going to find me fairly limited.
Geoff Dyer