Amy Hempel Quotes

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I do feel that if you can write one good sentence and then another good sentence and then another, you end up with a good story.
— Amy Hempel

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I had a mother I could only seem to please with verbal accomplishments of some sort or another. She read constantly, so I read constantly. If I used words that might have seemed surprising at a young age, she would recognize that and it would please her.

Amy Hempel

I probably have less revision than those who have that wonderful rush of story to tell - you know, I can't wait to tell you what happened the other day. It comes tumbling out and maybe then they go back and refine. I kind of envy that way of working, but I just have never done it.

Amy Hempel

I started writing by doing small related things but not the thing itself, circling it and getting closer. I had no idea how to write fiction. So I did journalism because there were rules I could learn. You can teach someone to write a news story. They might not write a great one, but you can teach that pretty easily.

Amy Hempel

I wanted to be a veterinarian, but slipped up when I hit organic chemistry.

Amy Hempel

I'm not first and foremost interested in story and the what-happens, but I'm interested in who's telling it and how they're telling it and the effects of whatever happened on the characters and the people.

Amy Hempel

I've always known when I start a story what the last line is. It's always been the case, since the first story I ever wrote. I don't know how it's going to get there, but I seem to need the destination. I need to know where I end up. It never changes, ever.

Amy Hempel

Obviously, in journalism, you're confined to what happens. And the tendency to embellish, to mythologize, it's in us. It makes things more interesting, a closer call. But journalism taught me how to write a sentence that would make someone want to read the next one.

Amy Hempel

I do feel that if you can write one good sentence and then another good sentence and then another, you end up with a good story.

Amy Hempel