Monday, June 6, 2011

Writers on Writing

Some of my favorite quotes about writing! Enjoy!


Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.  ~E.L. Doctorow


Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.  ~Mark Twain


Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.  ~Anton Chekhov


If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood.  I'd type a little faster.  ~Isaac Asimov


A writer and nothing else:  a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.  ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961


Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"



Be obscure clearly.  ~E.B. White 


When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela


What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.  ~Burton Rascoe (I dare insert "husband" instead :)


The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie (so, so true)


How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.  ~Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 19 August 1851


Write your first draft with your heart.  Re-write with your head.  ~From the movie Finding Forrester


Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's life.  ~James Norman Hall


The best style is the style you don't notice.  ~Somerset Maugham


I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head.  ~John Updike

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