Warnings to a Writer, Advice to a Writer, Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez (1927, Aracataca, Colombia), “one of the most significant writers of the 20th century,” pioneer of magic realism, creator of Macondo, Nobel Prize winner, needs little introduction.
García Márquez has excelled as a journalist, novelist, and short story writer. His stories transport the reader far from reality but root him or her to it- hence the magic realism. My favorites include, among his novels, of course, Cien años de soledad (100 Years Of Solitude), El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love In The Time Of Colera); short stories, “La increíble y triste historia de la Cándida Eréndira y su abuela desalmada” (“The Incredible and Sad Tale of Cándida Eréndida and Her Soulless Grandmother”) and “Un señor muy Viejo con unas alas enormes” (“A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings”); and nonfiction, Relato de un náufrago, (“The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor”).
In García Marquez’s characteristic, seemingly simple and direct writing, “Advertencias de un escritor,” (Warnings from a Writer) speaks to several levels of understanding. Like his novels, stories, and non-fiction, I guarantee that after reading it, a writer’s subconscious will always come back to it and discover the gems hidden in its simplicity.
Warnings from a Writer
- There is a difference between a long story and a prolonged one
- You must write the end of a piece before you get to the middle
- The author remembers the end of an article better than its beginning
- It is easier to capture a rabbit than it is to capture a reader
- A writer must begin with the conviction that what he or she is going to write will be the best thing ever written, because in the end a part of that conviction will remain.
- If a writer gets bored writing something, a reader will get bored reading it
- We should never force a reader to re-read a sentence