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Marion Dane Bauer

  • Human beings are storytelling animals. That's what separates us from other creatures, not just having thumbs or using tools.

  • ... when you are dealing with art, any kind of art, your pleasure in making it is what matters most.

  • ... my experience as a fiction writer tells me that the deeper I look into myself, the more universal is the experience I find there.

  • ... I was an adult before I began to learn that there is a difference between a conversation and an argument.

  • It is curious how believable I can be when I criticize myself, how unconvincing when I give myself praise.

  • I used to tiptoe up to my bedroom door and leap into my room in an attempt to surprise my dolls in the midst of some kind of action. Unfortunately, they were always too quick for me. I'm still disappointed about that.

    • Marion Dane Bauer,
    • speech ()
  • ... another word for talent is obsession.

    • Marion Dane Bauer,
    • speech ()
  • You don't choose your themes; they choose you. The meaning of your stories will rise out of your deepest longings, often out of longings so deep that you haven't admitted them even to yourself. Your convictions, your confusions, your most passionate dreams will be there whenever you begin a story, so you might as well learn to tap into them.

    • Marion Dane Bauer,
    • "Let Your Theme Choose You," in The Writer ()
  • Writing the opening lines of a story is a bit like starting to ski at the steepest part of a hill. You must have all your skills under control from the first instant.

  • Description needs to slide into a story like a snake through grass — silently, almost invisibly, without calling attention to itself. It should enrich every story moment without slowing the action.

  • Never think of revising as fixing something that is wrong. That starts you off in a negative frame of mind ... Rather, think of it as taking an opportunity to improve something you already love.

Marion Dane Bauer, U.S. children's writer

(1938)