The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.
To someone standing in the nave, looking down the length of the church toward the east, the round window would seem like a huge sun exploding into innumerable shards of gorgeous color.
When you're thinking, please remember this: excessive pride is a familiar sin, but a man may just as easily frustrate the will of God through excessive humility.
Everybody takes what they life from the teachings of the church, and ignores the parts that don't suit them.
But the lesson of Abraham's story is that God demands the best we have to offer, that which is most precious to us.
It was an odd relationship, but then she was an extraordinary woman: a prioress who doubted much of what the church taught; an acclaimed healer who rejected medicine as practised by physicians; and a nun who made enthusiastic love to her man whenever she could get away with it. If I wanted a normal relationship, Merthin told himself, I should have picked a normal girl.
Having faith in God did not mean sitting back and doing nothing. It meant believing you would find success if you did your best honestly and energetically.
What news? There's nothing to tell. I'm a nun.
He had been granted his life's wish-but conditionally.
Your integrity is like a sword, he would say: you shouldn't wave it until you're about to put it to the test.
His aim was the glory of God, but the glory of Philip pleased him too.
I imagined it. I wrote it. But I guess I never thought I'd see it.
In both cases, weakness and scruples had defeated strength and ruthlessness.
It was an odd thing to do, to stand in a street in the hope of seeing someone who hardly knew him, but he did not want to move.
Knotty theological questions are the least worrying of problems to me. Why? Because they will be resolved in the hereafter, and meanwhile they can be safely shelved.
Nevertheless, the book gave Jack a feeling he had never had before, that the past was like a story, in which one thing led to another, and the world was not a boundless mystery, but a finite thing that could be comprehended.
Proportion is the heart of beauty.
She loved him because he had brought her back to life. She had been like a caterpillar in a cocoon, and he had drawn her out and shown her that she was a butterfly.
The duck swallows the worm, the fox kills the duck, the men shoot the fox, and the devil hunts the men.
Be a perfectionist.
I don't think there's any great mystery to writing female characters, so long as you talk to them. If you lived in a monastery and never met any women, maybe it would be difficult.
There was a very serious communist strain among American intellectuals before the war. America was a more tolerant place in those days, and Communists were not treated as pariahs. That ended with the McCarthy era.
Culture clash is terrific drama.
My favorite period is World War II, and I'm in the middle of writing my fourth novel set in that era.
The thriller is the most popular literary genre of the 20th century.
We all now tell stories by cutting from one dramatic scene to the next, whereas Victorian novelists felt free to write long passages of undramatic summary.
When I'm writing a woman character, I don't think, 'What would a woman do?' I just think, 'What would this character do in this situation?'
Movies have influenced all writers, not just thriller writers.
I like to create imaginary characters and events around a real historical situation. I want readers to feel: OK, this probably didn't happen, but it might have.
I use a professional researcher in New York who does all the legwork, all that stuff which would take me days and weeks of calling, waiting for people to call back.
It was the most romantic plane ever made.
James Bond is quite serious about his drinks and clothing and cigarettes and food and all that sort of thing. There is nothing wry or amused about James Bond.
For success, the author must make the reader care about the destiny of the principals, and sustain this anxiety, or suspense, for about 100,000 words.
With hindsight, we see that the Soviet Union never had a chance of world domination, but we didn't know that then.
Thrillers have been traditionally very masculine books; the women characters often rather decorative.
An awful lot of thriller writers write women rather badly. So just doing it OK gets a lot of credit.
The research is the easiest. The outline is the most fun. The first draft is the hardest, because every word of the outline has to be fleshed out. The rewrite is very satisfying.
World War II is the greatest drama in human history, the biggest war ever and a true battle of good and evil. I imagine writers will continue to get stories from it, and readers will continue to love them, for many more years.
The CIA's research program is described in a book called The Search for the Manchurian Candidate.
A very good editor is almost a collaborator.
I enjoy learning technical details.
Most of my stories have some basis in fact.
In my books, women often solve the problem. Even if the woman is not the hero, she's a strong character. She does change the plot. She'll often rescue the male character from some situation.
More Ken Follett Quotations (Based on Topics)
Woman - Books - Man - World - Characters - Christianity - God - Success - Custom & Convention - Humility - Chance - History - Thought & Thinking - Beauty - Relationship - Mystery - Error & Mistake - Media & News - Devils - View All Ken Follett Quotations
More Ken Follett Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Pillars of the Earth
- World Without End
Victor Hugo - Og Mandino - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Brian Tracy - Salvatore Quasimodo - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelle - Lewis Carroll - Jared Diamond - Ian Fleming - Harriet Beecher Stowe