Quotes About Editing

Quotes tagged as "editing" (showing 1-30 of 143)
Dr. Seuss
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Dr. Seuss

Stephen King
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Richard Bach
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
Richard Bach

Colette
“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it."

(Casual Chance, 1964)”
Colette

Dark Jar Tin Zoo
“Making love to me is amazing. Wait, I meant: making love, to me, is amazing. The absence of two little commas nearly transformed me into a sex god.
”
Dark Jar Tin Zoo, Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.

Stephen King
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Shannon Hale
“I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”
Shannon Hale

Don Roff
“I've found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.”
Don Roff

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
Patricia Fuller

C.K. Webb
“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity...edit one more time!”
C.K. Webb

Tiffany Madison
“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
Tiffany Madison

E.A. Bucchianeri
“Editors can be stupid at times. They just ignore that author’s intention. I always try to read unabridged editions, so much is lost with cut versions of classic literature, even movies don’t make sense when they are edited too much. I love the longueurs of a book even if they seem pointless because you can get a peek into the author’s mind, a glimpse of their creative soul. I mean, how would people like it if editors came along and said to an artist, ‘Whoops, you left just a tad too much space around that lily pad there, lets crop that a bit, shall we?’. Monet would be ripping his hair out.”
E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

C.K. Webb
“We never end up with the book we began writing. Characters twist it and turn it until they get the life that is perfect for them. A good writer won't waste their time arguing with the characters they create...It is almost always a waste of time and people tend to stare when you do!”
C.K. Webb

Nick Hornby
“Anyone and everyone taking a writing class knows that the secret of good writing is to cut it back, pare it down, winnow, chop, hack, prune, and trim, remove every superfluous word, compress, compress, compress...

Actually, when you think about it, not many novels in the Spare tradition are terribly cheerful. Jokes you can usually pluck out whole, by the roots, so if you're doing some heavy-duty prose-weeding, they're the first to go. And there's some stuff about the whole winnowing process I just don't get. Why does it always stop when the work in question has been reduced to sixty or seventy thousand words--entirely coincidentally, I'm sure, the minimum length for a publishable novel? I'm sure you could get it down to twenty or thirty if you tried hard enough. In fact, why stop at twenty or thirty? Why write at all? Why not just jot the plot and a couple of themes down on the back of an envelope and leave it at that? The truth is, there's nothing very utilitarian about fiction or its creation, and I suspect that people are desperate to make it sound manly, back-breaking labor because it's such a wussy thing to do in the first place. The obsession with austerity is an attempt to compensate, to make writing resemble a real job, like farming, or logging. (It's also why people who work in advertising put in twenty-hour days.) Go on, young writers--treat yourself to a joke, or an adverb! Spoil yourself! Readers won't mind!”
Nick Hornby, The Polysyllabic Spree

Jaclyn Moriarty
“When she got back from taking Cassie to school Fancy knew that she ought to be working on her wilderness romance. She had promised thirty thousand words to her editor by tomorrow, and she had only written eleven. Specifically:
His rhinoceros smelled like a poppadom: sweaty, salty, strange and strong.
Her editor would cut that line.”
Jaclyn Moriarty, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor

E.A. Bucchianeri
“... The Book is more important than your plans for it. You have to go with what works for The Book ~ if your ideas appear hollow or forced when they are put on paper, chop them, erase them, pulverise them and start again. Don't whine when things are not going your way, because they are going the right way for The Book, which is more important. The show must go on, and so must The Book.”
E.A. Bucchianeri

Dalma Heyn
“[Women's magazines]ignore older women or pretend that they don’t exist; magazines try to avoid photographs of older women, and when they feature celebrities who are over sixty, ‘retouching artists’ conspire to ‘help’ beautiful women look more beautiful, ie less than their age...By now readers have no idea what a real woman’s 60 year old face looks like in print because it’s made to look 45. Worse, 60 year old readers look in the mirror and think they are too old, because they’re comparing themselves to some retouched face smiling back at them from a magazine.”
Dalma Heyn

Jeanne Voelker
“I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.”
Jeanne Voelker

Eric T. Benoit
“Self editing is the path to the dark side. Self editing leads to self delusion, self delusion leads to missed mistakes, missed mistakes lead to bad reviews. Bad reviews are the tools of the dark side.”
Eric T. Benoit

S. Kelley Harrell
“If I can only write my memoir once, how do I edit it?”
S. Kelley Harrell

“I have always believed in the principle that immediate survival is more important than long-term survival.”
Jack McClelland, Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters

Richard B. Knight
“When I'm writing, I make words my b*tch. But when I'm editing, the words make me their b*tch. It all equals out in the end.”
Richard B. Knight

Christopher Hitchens
“Authors who moan with praise for their editors always seem to reek slightly of the Stockholm syndrome.”
Christopher Hitchens, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship

Shaila M. Abdullah
“How do you end a story that’s not yours? Add another sentence where there is a pause? Infiltrate the story with a comma when really there should have been a period? Punctuate with an exclamation point where a period would have sufficed? What if you kill something breathing and breathe life into something the author wanted to eliminate? How do you get inside the mind of a person who isn’t there? Fill the shoes of someone who will never again fill his own?”
Shaila M. Abdullah

“It has been our experience that American houses insist on very comprehensive editing; that English houses as a rule require little or none and are inclined to go along with the author's script almost without query. The Canadian practice is just what you would expect--a middle-of-the-road course. We think the Americans edit too heavily and interfere with the author's rights. We think that the English publishers don't take enough editorial responsibility. Naturally, then, we consider our editing to be just about perfect. There's no doubt about it, we Canadians are a superior breed! (in a letter to author Margaret Laurence, dated May, 1960)”
Jack McClelland, Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters

“The great correspondent of the seventeenth century Madame de Sevigne counseled, "Take chocolate in order that even the most tireome company seem acceptable to you," which is also sound advice today!”
Barrie Kerper, Paris: The Collected Traveler

Celine Kiernan
On the Hunger Games Fan Race fail and the portrayal of POC in fantasy literature:
It is as if the POC in the text are walking around with a great big red sign over them for some editors and it reads I AM NOT A REAL CHARACTER. I AM A PROBLEM YOU MUST DEAL WITH. The white characters are permitted to saunter about with their physical descriptions hanging out all over the place, but best not make mention of dark skin or woolly/curly hair or dark eyes (Unless, of course, that character is white. None of my white-skinned dark-eyed characters had any problem being described as such. And I’m pretty sure that Sól’s curly hair never gave anyone a single pause for thought.) As I said, I understand the desire not to define a POC simply by their physical attributes, and I understand cutting physical descriptions if no other character is described physically – but pussyfooting about in this manner with POC is doing nothing but white wash the characters themselves. It’s already much too hard to get readers to latch onto the fact that some characters may not be caucasian, why must we dance about their physical description as if it were some kind of shameful dirty little secret. You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of the way homosexuality used to only ever be hinted at in texts. It was up to the reader to ‘read between the lines’ or ‘its there if you look for it’ and all that total bullshit which used to be the norm.”
Celine Kiernan

Suzanne Finnamore
“For most people, I edit. Most people are definitely getting along on the Cliffs Notes.”
Suzanne Finnamore, Otherwise Engaged

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“The internet is killing the art of writing. The big "publish" button begs you to publish even before you go back and make one single edit, and as if this was not enough, you have instant readers who praise your writing skills!-”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Rémy de Gourmont
“Everything, indeed, in a work of art should be unedited,--and even the words, by the manner of grouping them, of shaping them to new meanings,--and one often regrets having an alphabet familiar to too many half-lettered persons.”
Rémy de Gourmont, The Book of Masks

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