To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it—all my life." - F. Scott FitzgeraldHe's speaking there about one of his famous novels - either Tender is the night or This side of paradise, not sure which one as the book I started reading yesterday - Take Joy, A writer's guide to loving the craft by Jane Yolen - says its the former while this link quotes the latter. I believe the latter is right since I found another page - from Garrisson Keilor's The Writer's Almanac - that also refers to the latter book. Here are the details from The Writer's Almanac:
In April of 1920, at the age of 23, he published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, which made him an overnight sensation. A month later, for the third printing of the book, Fitzgerald composed a one page "Author's Apology" to be included and distributed at the May 1920 convention of the American Bookseller's Association. He wrote: "I don't want to talk about myself because I'll admit I did that somewhat in this book. In fact, to write it took three months; to conceive it -- three minutes; to collect the data in it -- all my life. The idea of writing it came on the first of last July: it was a substitute form of dissipation. My whole theory of writing I can sum up in one sentence: An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward. So, gentlemen, consider all the cocktails mentioned in this book drunk by me as a toast to the American Booksellers Association."Anyways, here's another good quote that I found in Yolen's book:
Art derives a considerable part of its beneficial exercise from flying in the face of presumptions - Henry James, The Art of Fiction.Actually, there are quite a few good quotes Jane Yolen has gleaned in her book and there are a few quotable nuggets in her own writing too... but more about that later. Maybe.