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Richard Russo QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A lot of my characters in all of my books have a self-destructive urge. They'll do precisely the thing that they know is wrong, take a perverse delight in doing the wrong thing.
Quotation of Richard Russo
By ignoring a lot of American culture you can write more interesting stories. Unfortunately, if you were writing about America as it is, you'd be writing about a lot of people sitting in front of television sets.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Comedy is hard in that it's timing, and you have to get the timing down, which requires a lot of revision.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Even at its most perceptive, sociology deals in abstractions.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Everybody in this book wants to be someplace else, so maybe one reason to read on is to find out if any of them are going to get anywhere near where they want to be.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Having two teenage daughters- they're both in college now-I thought it was high time I tried a father-daughter story.
Quotation of Richard Russo
HBO is really famous for hiring good people and staying out of their way until they ask for help, or need it. And that reputation is earned.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I can be glib and truthful all at once.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I don't think there's a shortage of material in the world. Or in my head. I just pray for continued good health, because I've got other stories to tell.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I have some ideas simmering, but I don't think it's such a bad thing to let them simmer for a while before I put pen to paper.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I have to have a character worth caring about. I tend not to start writing books about people I don't have a lot of sympathy for because I'm just going to be with them too long.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I looked back at some of my earlier published stories with genuine horror and remorse. I got thinking, How many extant copies might there be, who owns them, and do they keep their doors locked?
Quotation of Richard Russo
I read pretty voraciously. If it's good, I don't care what it is.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I see a character and I know suddenly who his father and mother were, and who his uncle was, and who his siblings were, and who his best friend was when he was growing up. And suddenly I've got what seemed like a very small painting now is a much larger canvas with a lot more people on it.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I suppose all writers worry about the well running dry.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I think a lot of what is going on with kids who get pushed too far and attempt either murder or suicide is that they are trying to deal with their own non-existence for the people who are supposed to care most for them.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I think at times, God help me, that's where I'm headed. With the exception of Straight Man, these books seem to be getting bigger both in the number of pages and the number of things I'm tackling.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I think it would be harder for me not to write comedy because the comic view of things is the one that comes most naturally to me.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I think that if people are instructed about anything, it should be about the nature of cruelty. And about why people behave so cruelly to each other. And what kind of satisfactions they derive from it. And why there is always a cost, and a price to be paid.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I think the darker aspect of my fiction-or anybody's fiction-is by its very nature somehow easier to talk about.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I told Paul Newman when he was trying to convince me to do it that I just wasn't sure I was up to it. That I was tired, and I had given these characters everything I had.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I want that which is hilarious and that which is heartbreaking to occupy the same territory in the book because I think they very often occupy the same territory in life, much as we try to separate them.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I was looking forward to somebody else, actually, doing the screenplay for Empire Falls. Because I thought what it needed was a pair of fresh eyes. I was toast at that point, and did not look forward to what I knew was not going to be an easy adaptation.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I was pretty dead set against ever writing an academic novel. It's always been my view that there are already more than enough academic novels and that most of them aren't any good. Most of them are self-conscious and bitter, the work of people who want to settle grudges.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I'd been living in Maine for close to a decade, and I have to live in a place for a while before I can write about it.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I'm bringing out a collection of stories. I don't write a lot of them-it's taken me the better part of 12 years to fill a slender volume.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I'm delighted by how Nobody's Fool turned out. It was a rare movie.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I've kind of learned over the years that usually my efforts to contain things don't work out very well.
Quotation of Richard Russo
I've never been under a deadline for any novel I've written. I've had two book editors. With a screenplay, the editor will call in the evening.
Quotation of Richard Russo
If my career continues along its current arc, people will probably look at me and see a writer who is obsessed with the relationship between rich and poor and with how the rich somehow or other always manage to betray the poor, even when they don't mean to.
Quotation of Richard Russo
If there's an enduring theme in my work, it's probably the effects of class on American life.
Quotation of Richard Russo
If you work at comedy too laboriously, you can kill what's funny in the joke.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Iit interested me that a man in middle age could be trapped by a couple of different kinds of love. One of which resides in the past, and the other sort of in the future.
Quotation of Richard Russo
In a screenplay, the story has to be contained in 120 pages, and most of those pages are white. The screenplays are so spare because they have to be.
Quotation of Richard Russo
In previous books I had mined a lot of father-son relationships. The Risk Pool is a father-son relationship from the point of view of the son, and Nobody's Fool is presented from the father's point of view.
Quotation of Richard Russo
It's no secret that in my books I'm trying to make the comic and the serious rub up against each other just as closely and uncomfortably as I can.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Just about the time that I was thinking once again that I was out of gas, we took it to the studio and got very good notes from HBO.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Like most writers, we either learn new tricks or tease ourselves into thinking that we have. The way we go about things is different as we progress through a career.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Most of my novels begin with a character in some sort of dramatic situation that I don't know how to solve.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Movies have to handle time very efficiently. They're about stringing scenes together in the present. Novels aren't necessarily about that.
Quotation of Richard Russo
My belief, and sometimes beleaguered belief, is that even when I try to write a small, contained story, it's just the nature of my imagination for things to expand outward.
Quotation of Richard Russo
My best sense is to ignore much of what is going on in the culture at large and to focus on some of the things that are still of interest to me.
Quotation of Richard Russo
My books are elegiac in the sense that they're odes to a nation that even I sometimes think may not exist anymore except in my memory and my imagination.
Quotation of Richard Russo
My devotion to my own girls began to play itself out in some sort of fictional form.
Quotation of Richard Russo
My interest in family, in the relationship of parents and children, which had manifested itself as fathers and sons in earlier work, and is now fathers and daughters.
Quotation of Richard Russo
People often ask me how I make things funny. I don't make things funny.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Risk Pool is a first-person narrative. Whatever we're seeing in that book, we're seeing through Ned Hall's eyes.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Some authors have a very hard time understanding that in order to be faithful to the spirit of the book, it's almost always impossible to remain faithful to the text. You have to make changes.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Sometimes I think I write more about class than I do about place, anyway.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Straight Man is a strange entry point into my fiction because it was the anomaly. The others are more of a piece.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Straight Man was my long goodbye to the academy. I needed to expel that from my system.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Structure is one of the things that I always hope will reveal itself to me.
Quotation of Richard Russo
The big effect of writing screenplays is that it causes me to let it all fly in my novels.
Quotation of Richard Russo
The future and the past are repeatedly getting mixed up in people's minds. They think that which is gone is going to come back.
Quotation of Richard Russo
The last story in my collection comes in at about 65 pages. It's a very long short story, but even there I started out with an idea for a 10 or 15-page story. So what good would it do me to have an intention?
Quotation of Richard Russo
The Prologue was actually written when I was a couple hundred pages into the book.
Quotation of Richard Russo
The purpose is to entertain and to instruct.
Quotation of Richard Russo
The Risk Pool I read with great trepidation. That book has a real place in my heart; it was written when my father was dying.
Quotation of Richard Russo
There's always difficulty when you're adapting your own novel to the screen, which is why most writers don't adapt their own work.
Quotation of Richard Russo
These books seem to be getting bigger both in the number of pages and the number of things I'm tackling.
Quotation of Richard Russo
This narrator of Empire Falls right from the start has the ability not only to enter different people's consciousnesses, but also to go back in history.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Those stories in The New Yorker, by the time they come out in book form, are about 30 or 35 pages, but they have a tremendous density to them.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Ultimately, your theme will find you. You don't have to go looking for it.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Usually by the time I finish a book tour I've just about had it with the book.
Quotation of Richard Russo
We have a working arrangement, Alice Munro and I.
Quotation of Richard Russo
What comes easiest for me is dialogue. Sometimes when my characters are speaking to me, I have to slow them down so that I'm not simply taking dictation.
Quotation of Richard Russo
What does it feel like to be a parent? What does it feel like to be a child? And that's what stories do. They bring you there. They offer a dramatic explanation, which is always different from an expository explanation.
Quotation of Richard Russo
When authors who write literary fiction begin to write screenplays, everybody assumes that's the end. Here's another who's never going to write well again.
Quotation of Richard Russo
When I go back to writing a novel, it's as if I can finally let go of all the stuff I've been holding back.
Quotation of Richard Russo
When I look back over my novels what I find is that when I think I'm finished with a theme, I'm generally not. And usually themes will recur from novel to novel in odd, new guises.
Quotation of Richard Russo
When I start getting close to the end of a novel, something registers in the back of my mind for the next novel, so that I usually don't write, or take notes. And I certainly don't begin. I just allow things to percolate for a while.
Quotation of Richard Russo
When you're working on movies, people need things yesterday, and the writer's job needs to be done before any other work can get done, so I did have to figure out a way to budget time to get that work done and not completely put the novel aside.
Quotation of Richard Russo
Writing about blue-collar folks is something I've been doing right from the start. It's a world I know pretty well. I like most of these folks quite a bit.
Quotation of Richard Russo
You can be interested in a Jane Smiley novel whether or not anyone says a word. She enters into her characters' thoughts with great understanding and depth.
Quotation of Richard Russo
You can't see a weapon and not know that at some point it's going to be used.
Quotation of Richard Russo
You have to be able to watch a movie in two hours, but with a book there are no such constraints. I don't know if an artificial limit were imposed whether that would work or not.
Quotation of Richard Russo
You just kind of have faith. If that sounds kind of mystical, it's because I really don't know how it works, but I trust that it does. I try to write the way I read, in order to find out what happens next.
Quotation of Richard Russo
You use simple brushstrokes in a screenplay for things over which you would take much greater pains in a novel.
Quotation of Richard Russo