Favorite quotes about writing

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Down the well
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Down the well » July 30th, 2010, 10:29 am

I've been perusing the new Writer's Digest, and I came across this quote from Mary Higgins Clark on the subject of "Things Every Writer Should Do."

"Don't hold a grudge! Instead, make the guy who was mean to you a victim in your next book."

I laughed out loud at that one.

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AMSchilling
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by AMSchilling » July 30th, 2010, 11:12 am

To everyone asking about the Stephen King quote, my understanding (from reading it in context, and yes, it's from "On Writing.") is that the first draft is for yourself. You write it for you and you only, and forget writing for the reader. It's only on the later drafts that you should bring other people into it, and start thinking about them and showing it to people.
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Mira
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Mira » August 2nd, 2010, 10:28 am

I like this one. Rings true:


"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."


- W. Somerset Maugham

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Emily J » August 2nd, 2010, 3:35 pm

Down the well wrote:I've been perusing the new Writer's Digest, and I came across this quote from Mary Higgins Clark on the subject of "Things Every Writer Should Do."

"Don't hold a grudge! Instead, make the guy who was mean to you a victim in your next book."

I laughed out loud at that one.
That is a great quote.

In my last manuscript, I had a character with the same name as my brother. When we were kids my brother use to torment me daily. So in the novel my brother's character dies. Now, it wasn't intentional, that's just sort of the way the story went but I have to wonder if that was my subconscious at work. On hearing about this my brother responded "Oh yeah, well I'm going to write a novel with a character named Emily and kill her off!" This is made funnier by my brother's complete lack of verbal skills.

I'm probably going to butcher this, but in Mystery and Manners Flannery O'Connor writes about how people think that theme is like a string on a bag of chicken feed, that it is this magical thing that once identified will open up the novel (like the bag of chicken feed). O'Connor made the point that in a good novel, every word is necessary, that the characters and the story are more than just a mouthpiece for some particular idea or theme. I wish I had a copy of Mystery and Manners in front of me so I could quote it exactly.

Speaking of which, I should really buy me a copy of that...

Down the well
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Down the well » August 2nd, 2010, 4:39 pm

Emily J wrote:In my last manuscript, I had a character with the same name as my brother. When we were kids my brother use to torment me daily. So in the novel my brother's character dies. Now, it wasn't intentional, that's just sort of the way the story went but I have to wonder if that was my subconscious at work.
LOL. That's why I found the quote so funny. I already did this to a long-ago-but-not-forgotten boyfriend in my current WIP. I kept seeing his face when I wrote the "get even" scene.

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by GeeGee55 » August 8th, 2010, 5:25 pm

Writing is no trouble; you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult.
-Stephen Leacock.

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by polymath » August 14th, 2010, 12:12 pm

Reading Edgar Allen Poe's 1850 "Never Bet the Devil Your Head."

"it has been shown that no man can sit down to write without a very profound design. Thus to authors in general much trouble is spared. A novelist, for example, need have no care of his moral. It is there--that is to say, it is somewhere--and the moral and the critics can take care of themselves."

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Mira » August 14th, 2010, 5:41 pm

I read this quote today. It was used to talk about how great time and patience will produce a diamond:


"Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul".

- Simone Weil

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Down the well » August 22nd, 2010, 6:52 pm

I came across this quote and thought it was awesome. Then I found out you can buy the t-shirt. SOLD.

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

-- Anais Nin

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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by cheekychook » September 5th, 2010, 1:35 pm

"When you write, try to leave out all the parts the readers skip."
— Elmore Leonard
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Mira
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Mira » September 11th, 2010, 9:18 pm

People may know this one. It's one of my absolute favorites:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

- Goethe

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maybegenius
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by maybegenius » September 15th, 2010, 12:23 pm

I'm a Neil Gaiman fan, so...

"When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: 'House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.'"
- Neil Gaiman

"As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning. "
- Neil Gaiman

"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it."
- Neil Gaiman

He also had another one I really liked, but now I can't find the direct quote. But the gist was: "Listen to people who find something wrong with your writing, because they're probably right. But don't listen to their recommendations for how to fix it, because they're probably wrong."
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Regan Leigh
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by Regan Leigh » September 20th, 2010, 11:24 pm

The motto of my blog... ;)

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.” — Hunter S. Thompson (Gonzo)
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by sierramcconnell » September 21st, 2010, 6:01 pm

maybegenius wrote:I'm a Neil Gaiman fan, so...

"When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: 'House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.'"
- Neil Gaiman

"As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning. "
- Neil Gaiman

"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it."
- Neil Gaiman

He also had another one I really liked, but now I can't find the direct quote. But the gist was: "Listen to people who find something wrong with your writing, because they're probably right. But don't listen to their recommendations for how to fix it, because they're probably wrong."
I love Neil Gaiman. He's such an inspiration. As I was falling into a deep dark depression of hate for my book, someone linked me this Pep Talk of his. It's not a quote, but it's a wonderful read: http://www.nanowrimo.org/node/1065561

It works so well.

And I love that second quote up there. I want to be a writer mostly so I can sit in bed all day in my Pjams and write.
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Re: Favorite quotes about writing

Post by unwieldy » September 22nd, 2010, 11:02 am

Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.

- Samuel Johnson

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