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Terry Pratchett's Quotes

Terry Pratchett profile photo

Born: 1948-04-28
Profession: Author
Nation: English
Biography of Terry Pratchett

See the gallery for quotes by Terry Pratchett. You can to use those 8 images of quotes as a desktop wallpapers.
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You can't build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I'm not writing 'The A-Team' - if there's a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.

Tags: Betrayal, Hurt, Stupid

Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.

Tags: Disagree, Physicists, Somewhere

I have to write because if I don't get something down then after a while I feel it's going to bang the side of my head off.

Tags: After, Off, Write

What is normal? Normal was yesterday. If you lose a leg, one day you're hopping around on one leg, so you know the difference.

Tags: Difference, Lose, Normal

You can't die with an unfinished book.

Tags: Book, Die, Unfinished

I am certain no one sets out to be cruel, but our treatment of the elderly ill seems to have no philosophy to it. As a society, we should establish whether we have a policy of life at any cost.

Tags: Life, Philosophy, Society

I like writing. I get cranky when I can't. Yes, I write books back to back, and I work very hard on them.

Tags: Hard, Work, Writing

I think it does Discworld good if I don't write about it all the time: sometimes you have to get it out of your system.

Tags: Good, Sometimes, Time

I'm glad a genre writer has got a knighthood, but stunned that it was me.

Tags: Genre, Glad, Writer

The ideal death, I think, is what was the ideal Victorian death, you know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.

Tags: After, Death, Making

'Discworld' is taking something that you know is ridiculous and treating it as if it is serious, to see if something interesting happens when you do so.

Tags: Happens, Serious, Taking

My advice is this. For Christ's sake, don't write a book that is suitable for a kid of 12 years old, because the kids who read who are 12 years old are reading books for adults. I read all of the James Bond books when I was about 11, which was approximately the right time to read James Bond books.

Tags: Advice, Book, Time

The most watched programme on the BBC, after the news, is probably 'Doctor Who.' What has happened is that science fiction has been subsumed into modern literature. There are grandparents out there who speak Klingon, who are quite capable of holding down a job. No one would think twice now about a parallel universe.

Tags: After, Job, Science

There was once a caustic comment from someone suggesting I was breeding a new race. Fans from different countries have married, amazing things like that. I've been to some of the weddings. I went to one here the other day, a pagan ceremony.

Tags: Amazing, Here, Someone

In the first book of my Discworld series, published more than 26 years ago, I introduced Death as a character; there was nothing particularly new about this - death has featured in art and literature since medieval times, and for centuries we have had a fascination with the Grim Reaper.

Tags: Art, Character, Death

It cannot be said often enough that science fiction as a genre is incredibly educational - and I'm speaking the written science fiction, not 'Star Trek.' Science fiction writers tend to fill their books if they're clever with little bits of interesting stuff and real stuff.

Tags: Enough, Real, Science

It seems sensible to me that we should look to the medical profession, that over the centuries has helped us to live longer and healthier lives, to help us die peacefully among our loved ones in our own home without a long stay in God's waiting room.

Tags: God, Home, Medical

Mum had done everything you need to educate a kid. She made me a kid who likes books and she told me about 'Wind in the Willows' and read it and I thought this is weird, Rat, Mole, Toad and my first ever Bolshie thought - you know about 'The Wind in the Willows.'

Tags: Done, She, Thought

No one's policing their own minds more than an author. You spend a lot of time in your own head analysing what you think about things, and a philosophy comes.

Tags: Minds, Philosophy, Time

I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.

Tags: Help, Medical, Someone

I intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod. Oh, and since this is England, I had better add, 'If wet, in the library.' Who could say that this is bad?

Tags: Bad, Die, Since

I must have read every issue of 'Punch' published in the 20th century, and I think in the process I picked up the true voice of English humour - that amiable, fairly liberal, laconic voice which you find in something like 'Three Men in a Boat.'

Tags: Men, Read, True

I particularly admire are Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome who wrote in a certain tone of voice which was humane and understanding of humanity, but always ready to annotate its little foibles. I think I'd lay my cards down on that, and say that it's that that I'm trying to do.

Tags: Humanity, Trying, Voice

I regarded finding I had a form of Alzheimer's as an insult and decided to do my best to marshal any kind of forces I could against this wretched disease. I have posterior cortical atrophy or PCA. They say, rather ingenuously, that if you have Alzheimer's it's the best form of Alzheimer's to have.

Tags: Best, Insult, Rather

I think when people mean that Discworld books have become darker they really mean the series is growing up. In 'The Colour of Magic' most of the city is set alight. It's a joke, in much the same way that the Earth is destroyed almost at the start of Douglas Adams's 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.'

Tags: Become, Mean, Start

I'm a fantasy writer, called a fantasy writer. But there's very little, apart from one or two basic concepts in 'I Shall Wear Midnight,' which are in fact fantasy. You have sticks that fly, but they're practical broomsticks, with a bloody great strap that you can hold on to so you don't fall off. And you try not to use them too often.

Tags: Great, Off, Try

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Much more quotes by Terry Pratchett below the page.

I've always felt that what I have going for me is not my imagination, because everyone has an imagination. What I have is a relentlessly controlled imagination. What looks like wild invention is actually quite carefully calculated.

Tags: Actually, Everyone, Quite

I've lost both parents in the last two years, so you pick up on that stuff. That's the most terrible thing about being an author - standing there at your mother's funeral, but you don't switch the author off. So your own innermost thoughts are grist for the mill.

Tags: Lost, Mother, Parents

My own books drive themselves. I know roughly where a book is going to end, but essentially the story develops under my fingers. It's just a matter of joining the dots.

Tags: Book, End, Matter

The bravest person I've ever met was a young boy going through massive amounts of treatment for a very rare, complex and unpleasant disease. I last saw him at a Discworld convention, where he chose to take part in a game as an assassin. He died not long afterwards, and I wish I had his fortitude and sense of style.

Tags: Game, Him, Wish

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Tags: Fire, Life, Rest

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

Tags: Light, Waiting, Wrong

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

Tags: Cats, Forgotten, Times

It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer's you are an old fart. That's how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone.

Tags: Alone, Brave, Old

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Tags: Mind, Put, Trying

It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living.

Tags: Die, Life, True

Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.

Tags: Dreams, Free, Time

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.

Tags: Insane, Mind, Sure

He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting 'All the Gods are bastards.'

Tags: Bastards, Gods, Shouting

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

Tags: Bad, Ignorance, Knowledge

Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.

Tags: Might, Mind, Wrong

It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewere, would much rather you weren't doing.

Tags: Rather, Someone, Worth

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Tags: Pen, Short, Sword

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

Tags: Beginning, Exploded

Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don't find out til too late that he's been playing with two queens all along.

Tags: Fate, Late, Playing

The intelligence of the creature known as a crowd, is the square root of the number of people in it.

Tags: Crowd, Known, Number

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

Tags: Lies, May, Truth

The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can't so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?

Tags: Care, Family, Society

Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.

Tags: Darkness, Light, Sometimes

You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.

Tags: Give, Mean, Meaningful

Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.

Tags: Demanding, Money, Taxation

I know three people who have got better after a brain tumour. I haven't heard of anyone who's got better from Alzheimer's.

Tags: After, Anyone, Brain

Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.

Tags: Fun, Writing, Yourself

Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up.

Tags: Blood, Genius, Once

Sooner or later we're all someone's dog.

Tags: Dog, Later, Someone