Bret Easton Ellis Quotes on Writing: Complete Collection

bret easton ellis quotes on writing
by CJ McDaniel // July 12 // 0 Comments

Many people frown upon reading controversial writings or those written by controversial authors, leading to a decrease in book sales or a failure in general. However, there are occasions when a controversial piece becomes a bestseller, catapulting a writer’s status to instant fame. Such has happened to Bret Easton Ellis. Despite having a controversial writing career, the American author somehow climbed the bestseller list every so often. His popularity propelled Bret Easton Ellis’ quotes on writing to the top of the searches, proving how many writers and readers hope to learn from his skills in writing.

Born in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1964, American author, short story writer, screenwriter, and director Bret Easton Ellis’ passions since childhood included writing. This passion flourished sometime when he attended Bennington College. He initially enrolled to study music, eventually switching to a writing course. In 1985, while at Bennington College, Ellis completed his first novel, Less Than Zero. The book became controversial, earning mixed reviews from critics. However, it was the book that started and heightened his literary career as it managed to make its way to the bestselling list of books.

Less Than Zero marked the start of Ellis’ literary celebrity life, but American Psycho was his most successful yet. Despite its graphically violent and misogynistic content, the work had a movie adaptation and Broadway musical, obtaining encouraging feedback and garnering acknowledgment from several academics. Most of Ellis’ novels were controversial, but for the most part, these novels became critically-acclaimed bestsellers. Apart from his works, Bret Easton Ellis’ quotes on writing also gained popularity, helping other readers and writers improve and attain relevance in their craft.

Bret Easton Ellis Quotes About Writing

Bret Easton Ellis is a best-selling author, screenwriter, and social commentator. His unconventional and radical writings often express extreme acts and opinions in a somewhat affectless style. His trademark as a writer involves narcissistic and recurring characters, dystopic locales, and novels that feature extreme graphic violence mixed with satire. Among his works include The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, Glamorama, Imperial Bedrooms, Lunar Park, and the collection of stories, The Informers. Although his novels were controversial, they eventually became bestsellers, even translated into over 20 languages.

Ellis is one of the literary voices of the 1980s and Generation X. His writings encouraged aspiring and established writers to have the courage to speak their minds, no matter how odd they may be to others. Bret Easton Ellis’ quotes on writing are an incredible way to learn more about his thoughts on the craft, so start with this collection for inspiration.

Life is like a typographical error: we’re constantly writing and rewriting things over each other.

Bret Easton Ellis

Writing a novel is not method acting and I find it easy to step out of it at cocktail hour.

Bret Easton Ellis

You do not write a novel for praise, or thinking of your audience. You write for yourself; you work out between you and your pen the things that intrigue you

Bret Easton Ellis

I write books to relieve ­myself of pain. That’s the prime motivator to write. Period.

Bret Easton Ellis

I think the books are the books. They were conceived as books. They weren’t conceived as movies. When I write scripts, that’s an idea and a situation that I think is a really good idea for a movie. When I’m writing a book, I’m not thinking, “Oh, this would be a great movie.” This would be a very interesting book. And I think the books are things that cannot really be adapted into another medium.

Bret Easton Ellis

There’s no grand plan. All I know is that I write the books I want to write. All that other stuff is meaningless to me.

Bret Easton Ellis

Writing a novel that works is an extremely difficult thing to do. It requires a level of skill and dedication that always surprises me.

Bret Easton Ellis

If I want to write a movie, I’ll write a screenplay, but if I have an idea for a book, it’s something that I think can only be done novelistically.

Bret Easton Ellis

No one is drawn to writing about being happy or feelings of joy.

Bret Easton Ellis

Writing fiction is an act of imagination and fantasizing, and it’s not relating in prose what you’ve been doing for the last two or three years.

Bret Easton Ellis

You really write the books you want to write. You can’t take into consideration anything that anybody has said about you in the past, or what they’ll say about you in the future.

Bret Easton Ellis

I don’t know why I write what I write.

Bret Easton Ellis

You don’t market-research a novel; you really are writing it for yourself. It’s a hobby, in many ways. The problem becomes what you do when you’re confronted by criticism. You just don’t listen to it.

Bret Easton Ellis

I’m not a big believer in disciplined writers. What does discipline mean? The writer who forces himself to sit down and write for seven hours every day might be wasting those seven hours if he’s not in the mood and doesn’t feel the juice. I don’t think discipline equals creativity.

Bret Easton Ellis

I learned that you really don’t have any control as a writer. Waah, waah, waah. Big deal. Unless you’re the director on the movie, or putting up the money for the movie, you really don’t have a lot of control. As someone who’s just writing scripts, you just kind of have to shrug. I have no problems or issues with screenwriting in general. It is what it is.

Bret Easton Ellis

I’ve never written an autobiographical novel in my life. I’ve never touched upon my life. I’ve never written a single scene that I can say took place.

Bret Easton Ellis

Quotes About Books

Having written several best-selling books, Ellis knows how to express his ideas while capturing his audience’s interest. Apart from his works, his words or quotes about books are also worth reading. They give you a glimpse of Bret’s thoughts about books. Spare some time to read the mini-collection of Ellis’ quotable words about books below.

All of my books come from pain.

Bret Easton Ellis

Baby, when you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to say live and let live. You know you did, you know you did, you know you did.

Bret Easton Ellis

I had no idea that ‘Less Than Zero’ was going to be read by anyone outside of Los Angeles, and it’s – believe me, as the writer of the book I’m somewhat amused and intrigued by the idea that 25 years later it’s still out and people are still reading it.

Bret Easton Ellis

Every book for me is an exorcism in some way or another, working through my feelings at the time.

Bret Easton Ellis

I do tend to look at my books in many ways as conceptual fiction, even to the point where I think the author’s photograph is part of the package. And I have gone out of my way to select the photograph to connect to the subject matter of each book.

Bret Easton Ellis

I think my sensibility is very literary; all my books were built as books, and I wasn’t thinking about them being movies.

Bret Easton Ellis

Michel Houellebecq is the most interesting, provocative and important European novelist of my generation. Period. No one else comes close. He has written two or maybe three great books, and his latest, The Map and the Territory, is one of them.

Bret Easton Ellis

It’s the rare book that’s able to transport you in a way that a movie does.

Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis Quotes About Dreams

Inspiration, for writers, comes from various things. Among their source of inspiration includes dreams. Take Bret Easton Ellis’ quotes about dreams. There isn’t much in this collection, but his quotes about dreams will give you an idea of what it means to him and his craft. Check it out now!

But… what about us? What about the past?” she asks blankly. “The past isn’t real. it’s just a dream,” I say. “Don’t mention the past.

Bret Easton Ellis

Adjust my dreams for me.

Bret Easton Ellis

I had dreamed of something so different from what reality was now offering up, but that dream had been a blind man’s vision. That dream was a miracle. The morning was fading. And I remembered yet again that I was a tourist here.

Bret Easton Ellis

Hope E.L .James doesn’t think I’m being a prankster. I really want to adapt her novels for the screen. Christian Grey is a writer’s dream.

Bret Easton Ellis

Quotes About Character

Among Ellis’ trademarks as a writer is how he creates his characters. He can absorb various points of view and embody what part of the society they represent, regardless of his character’s background. They’re also often young and mindless people who choose to enjoy their morally corrupt acts despite becoming aware of it. His characters are significant to his success, so think of the next set of quotes as an inspiration for forming characters for your work.

I like the idea of a writer being haunted by his own creation, especially if the writer resents the way the character defines him.

Bret Easton Ellis

Completely committed to adapting ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. This is not a joke. Christian Grey and Ana: potentially great cinematic characters.

Bret Easton Ellis

It’s like my characters, all my men are Dad and me in a mess; all my female characters are smart and hopeful, like Mom just trying to make the best of things.

Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis penned various novels and a collection of short stories, many of which had their respective movie adaptation. The translation of his works into many languages also proved his fame worldwide. Despite the criticism and controversies he received, Ellis’ literary career only prospered over time. Hence, his influence, especially on aspiring writers, cannot be ignored. True enough, even Bret Easton Ellis’ quotes on writing are much sought-after today.

Need more inspiration for your writing than what is provided by these quotes on writing by Bret Easton Ellis? Visit this page to see our collection of quotations on writing by other writers.

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!