Sunday, March 8, 2020

40 Quotes About Writing That Are Keeping It Real

40 Quotes About Writing That Are Keeping It Real Wondering what its really like to be a prolific, famous writer? Wish you could learn from the masters how to craft a great story that readers cant put down? Here are some quotes from some of the best writers on the process of their craft and some brutal truths about writing that keep it real.Im a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he cant and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.William FaulknerWhen you catch an adjective, kill it.Mark TwainMy own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.Anton ChekhovWriting a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.E. L. DoctorowYou learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The moneys in novels, but writing short sto ries keeps your writing lean and pointed.Larry NivenEverywhere I go Im asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they dont stifle enough of them.Flannery OConnorEverybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people dont see any.Orson Scott CardFinishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.Truman CapoteAll good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.F. Scott FitzgeraldRead, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! Youll absorb it. Then write. If its good, youll find out. If its not, throw it out of the window.William FaulknerHere is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show youve been to colle ge.Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,†¯A Man Without a CountryLet me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.Sylvia Plath,†¯The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia PlathWriting is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.Virginia WoolfWriting books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.Norman MailerA blank piece of paper is Gods way of telling us how hard it is to be God.Sidney SheldonAnd by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.Sylvia Plath,†¯The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia PlathThe most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when theyre brought out. But its more than that, isnt it? The most important things lie too clos e to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what youve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. Thats the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.Stephen KingDont tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.Anton ChekhovThere are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.W. Somerset MaughamIf you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories - science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.Ray BradburyAlways be a poet, even in prose.Charles BaudelaireA short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.Stephen King,†¯Skeleton CrewI write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.Franz KafkaLearn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.Pablo PicassoWhat an astonishing thing a book is. Its a flat ob ject made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and youre inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.Carl Sagan,†¯CosmosAny word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.Stephen Kinggreat writers are indecent peoplethey live unfairlysaving the best part for paper.good human beings save the worldso that bastards like me can keep creating art,become immortal.if you read this after I am deadit means I made it.Charles Bukowski,†¯The People Look Like Flowers at LastA non-writing writer is a monster courting i nsanity.Franz Kafka [Letter to Max Brod]The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.Margaret Atwood,†¯The Blind AssassinThe first step ― especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money...the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.Chuck PalahniukAdvice? I dont have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If youre writing, youre a writer. Write like youre a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and theres no chance for a pardon. Write like youre clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and youve got just one last thing to say, like youre a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for Gods sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that were not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or dont. Who knows, maybe youre one of the lucky ones who doesnt have to.Alan W. WattsIf you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.Stephen King,†¯On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftI write almost always in the third person, and I dont think the narrator is male or female anyway. Theyre both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and ex perienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human - theyre sprites.Philip PullmanIndeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.Eudora Welty,†¯On WritingIf youre just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your televisions electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.Stephen King,†¯On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftFinishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.Truman CapoteThe poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen ... Perhaps it cant be done without the poet, but it certainly cant be done without the people. The poet and the people get on generally very badly, and yet they need each other. The poet knows it sooner than the people do. The people usually know it after the poet is dead; but thats all right. The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world.James BaldwinThe author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.Friedrich NietzscheYou know how writers are... they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create their work in order to create themselves.Orson Scott CardFind out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.Rainer Maria Rilke

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