Friday, May 2, 2008

Featured Quotes of the Day: Words of Advice

Featured Quotes of the Day: Words of Advice

Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It's
the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a
writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.
Rhys Alexander

Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say
Sholem Asch

I take the view, and always have, that if you cannot say what you are
going to say in twenty minutes you ought to go away and write a book
about it.
Lord Brabazon

Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we
see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I
were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up,
the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to
where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see
to his gusto.
Ray Bradbury

If you have other things in your life - family, friends, good
productive day work - these can interact with your writing and the
sum will be all the richer.
David Brin

Young writers shouldn't be afraid of striving to emulate their
favorites. It's a good way to learn, as long as you move on from it
and don't publish too many of the results.
Poppy Z. Brite

If you find yourself imitating another writer, that doesn't have to
be a bad thing, especially if you are a young or a new writer.
However, you should be conscious of exactly how you are imitating
him - word choice, sentence structure, motifs? - and think about why
you're doing it.
Poppy Z. Brite

Don't explain why it works; explain how you use it.
Steven Brust

Be like a duck, my mother used to tell me. Remain calm on the surface
and paddle like hell underneath.
Michael Caine

In writing a series of stories about the same characters, plan the
whole series in advance in some detail, to avoid contradictions and
L. Sprague de Camp

It only takes one person to change your life – you.
Ruth Casey

There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth
publishing, to find honest men to publish it - and to get sensible
men to read it.
Charles Caleb Cotton

When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his
Raymond Chandler

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best
advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
G. K. Chesterton

Always make sure you are right and then - go for it.
David Crockett

Never throw up on an editor.
Ellen Datlow

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the
fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
E.L. Doctorow

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper.
T. S. Eliot

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The ideal view for daily writing, hour for hour, is the blank brick
wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will
do, cloudless if possible.
Edna Ferber

Expansion, that is the idea the novelist must cling to, not
completion, not rounding off, but opening out.
E. M. Forster

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write
things worth reading or do things worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and
tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules.
Not ones that matter.
Neil Gaiman

You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street,
a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes
this one different.
Neil Gaiman

All fiction is a process of imagining: whatever you write, in
whatever genre or medium, your task is to make things up convincingly
and interestingly and new.
Neil Gaiman

Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small
boat. It helps, if you have a plan and a course laid out.
John Gardner

You must learn to overcome your very natural and appropriate
revulsion for your own work.
William Gibson

If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of
Natalie Goldberg

Put weather in.
Joseph Hansen

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She
said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and
worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being
praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or
satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
Helen Hayes

They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give
young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talk about
writing or themselves.
Lillian Hellman

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof
shit detector.
Ernst Hemingway

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
Ernest Hemingway

You have to have a lot of patience to learn patience.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

In order for you to be yourself, you have to be somebody first.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The exit is usually where the entrance was.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The two most engaging powers of an author are, to make new things
familiar, and familiar things new.
Samuel Johnson

Before you use a fancy word, make room for it.
Joseph Joubert

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in
the face.
Helen Keller

There will never be another now -
I'll make the most of today.
There will never be another me -
I'll make the most of myself.
Helen Keller

Don't take life so serious. It ain't no-hows permanent.
Walt Kelly

It's hard for me to believe that people who read very little - or not
at all in some cases - should presume to write and expect people to
like what they have written. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you
don't have time to read, you don't have the time - or the tools - to
write. Simple as that.
Stephen King

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress
up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a
little bit ashamed of your short ones.
Stephen King

If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the
tools to write.
Stephen King

My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when
you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.
Elmore Leonard

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when
you mean 'very'. Otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to
talk about something really infinite.
C. S. Lewis

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster
Gustav Mahler

For anyone who is: just keep writing. Keep reading. If you are meant
to be a writer, a storyteller, it'll work itself out. You just keep
feeding it your energy, and giving it that crucial chance to work
itself out. By reading and writing.
Robin McKinley

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
Herman Melville

For all my longer works, for example novels, I write chapter outlines
so I can have the pleasure of departing from them later on.
Garth Nix

One has to live a life that creates a writer.
Erno Paasilinna

We writers have this saying 'Kill your darlings'... but I suppose you
family men don't agree with it.
Mike Pohjola

Make it new.
Ezra Pound

You only pass through this life once, you don't come back for an
Elvis Presley

Most beginning writers - and I was the same - are like chefs trying
to cook great dishes that they've never tasted themselves. How can
you make a great - or even an adequate - bouillabaisse if you've
never had any? If you don't really understand why people read
mysteries - or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever -
then there's no way in the world you're going to write one that
anyone wants to publish. This is the meaning of the well-known
expression "Write what you know."
Daniel Quinn

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader
will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he
will certainly misunderstand them.
John Ruskin

Resist the temptation to try to use dazzling style to conceal
weakness of substance.
Stanley Schmidt

To grow in craft is to increase the bredth of what I can do, but art
is the depth, the passion, the desire, the courage to be myself and
myself alone.
Pat Schneider

If you don't know it, don't write it.
Darrell Schweitzer

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
William Shakespeare

There are no rules in writing. There are useful principles. Throw
them away when they're not useful. But always know what you're
throwing away.
Will Shetterly

Moving around is good for creativity: the next line of dialogue that
you desperately need may well be waiting in the back of the
refrigerator or half a mile along your favorite walk.
Will Shetterly

Stories have a beginning, a midlle and an end. But not necessarily in
that order.
Robert Silverberg

The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next
Mickey Spillane

When in doubt, blow something up.
J. Michael Straczynski

You are what you read.
Esko Valtaoja

If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve
enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts.
Kurt Vonnegut

Books are never finished, They are merely abandoned.
Oscar Wilde

If you think that something small cannot make a difference, try going
to sleep with a mosquito in the room.

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