Quotes About Revision

Quotes tagged as "revision" (showing 1-29 of 29)
Henry Green
“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
Henry Green

William Faulkner
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
William Faulkner

Raymond Chandler
“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”
Raymond Chandler

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

J.K. Rowling
“Children being children, however, the grotesque Hopping Pot had taken hold of their imaginations. The solution was to jettison the pro-Muggle moral but keep the warty cauldron, so by the middle of the sixteenth century a different version of the tale was in wide circulation among wizarding families. In the revised story, the Hopping Pot protects an innocent wizard from his torch-bearing, pitchfork-toting neighbours by chasing them away from the wizard's cottage, catching them and swallowing them whole.”
J.K. Rowling, The Tales of Beedle the Bard

William Maxwell
“What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory--meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion--is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end. In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw.”
William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow

Thomas Henry Huxley
“It was badly received by the generation to which it was first addressed, and the outpouring of angry nonsense to which it gave rise is sad to think upon. But the present generation will probably behave just as badly if another Darwin should arise, and inflict upon them that which the generality of mankind most hate—the necessity of revising their convictions. Let them, then, be charitable to us ancients; and if they behave no better than the men of my day to some new benefactor, let them recollect that, after all, our wrath did not come to much, and vented itself chiefly in the bad language of sanctimonious scolds. Let them as speedily perform a strategic right-about-face, and follow the truth wherever it leads.”
Thomas Henry Huxley

Kelly Barnhill
“That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.”
Kelly Barnhill

Stephen King
“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising."

[The Writer's Digest Interview: Stephen King & Jerry B. Jenkins (Jessica Strawser, Writer's Digest, May/June 2009)]”
Stephen King

Ambrose Bierce
“SAINT, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.”
Ambrose Bierce

Neil Gaiman
“The best advice I can give on this is, once it's done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. When you're ready, pick it up and read it, as if you've never read it before. If there are things you aren't satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that's revision."

[FAQ - Advice to Authors on Gaiman's website, http://www.neilgaiman.com]”
Neil Gaiman

Haruki Murakami
“From the photo albums, every single print of her had been peeled away. Shots of the both of us together had been cut, the parts with her neatly trimmed away, leaving my image behind. Photos of me alone or of mountains and rivers and deer and cats were left intact. Three albums rendered into a revised past. It was as if I'd been alone at birth, alone all my days, and would continue alone.”
Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase

Libba Bray
“I am hard at work on the second draft ... Second draft is really a misnomer as there are a gazillion revisions, large and small, that go into the writing of a book.”
Libba Bray

“Lie naked on the table, and let them cut. Criticism is surgery, and humility is the anesthetic that allows you to tolerate it. In the end, the process will make you a stronger, more flexible, and truly creative writer. It will replace attitude with genuine confidence, and empty arrogance with artistry.”
Molly Cochran

Ha Jin
“I work hard, I work very hard. All the books at least 30 revisions.”
Ha Jin

Steve Almond
“To look at the work of your peers, and learn how to explain with kindness and precision, the nature of their mistakes is, in fact, how you learn to diagnose your own work.”
Steve Almond

“An editor doesn't just read, he reads well, and reading well is a creative, powerful act. The ancients knew this and it frightened them. Mesopotamian society, for instance, did not want great reading from its scribes, only great writing. Scribes had to submit to a curious ruse: they had to downplay their reading skills lest they antagonize their employer. The Attic poet Menander wrote: "those who can read see twice as well." Ancient autocrats did not want their subjects to see that well. Order relied on obedience, not knowledge and reflection. So even though he was paid to read as much as write messages, the scribe's title cautiously referred to writing alone (scribere = "to write"); and the symbol for Nisaba, the Mesopotamian goddess of scribes, was not a tablet but a stylus. In his excellent book A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel writes, "It was safer for a scribe to be seen not as one who interpreted information, but who merely recorded it for the public good."
In their fear of readers, ancients understood something we have forgotten about the magnitude of readership. Reading breeds the power of an independent mind. When we read well, we are thinking hard for ourselves—this is the essence of freedom. It is also the essence of editing. Editors are scribes liberated to not simply record and disseminate information, but think hard about it, interpret, and ultimately, influence it.”
Susan Bell, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

Margaret Atwood
“We were revisionists; what we revised was ourselves.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Pamela Erens
“Writers know all the good reasons for subjecting their work to a sharp trim. Early drafts are notorious for repetition, indirection and overdevelopment of the trivial.”
Pamela Erens

Judith McNaught
“Then based on her own recent experience, the Divine Presence had a cruelly perverse sense of humor and His Grand Plan needed drastic revision.”
Judith McNaught, Every Breath You Take

Christopher Lehman
“Why aren’t the thinks I’m thinking getting thunk on the page any faster?!? (from Stop Lying: Writing Is Hard on ChristopherLehman.com)”
Christopher Lehman

Pamela Erens
“In my experience, cutting back is the crucial act that allows the vitality, precision and emotional heart of a piece of writing to emerge.”
Pamela Erens

“There is a saying: Genius is perseverance. While genius does not consist entirely of editing, without editing it's pretty useless.”
Susan Bell, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

Maxine Hong Kingston
“Allen Ginsberg instructs: "First thought, best thought." Oh, to have my every spontaneous thought count as poetry! No draft after draft like a draft horse.

Clayton Eshleman, laughing, said, "'First thought best thought' is not 'First word best word ' Ginsberg does rewrite. I'm sure he does.”
Maxine Hong Kingston, To Be the Poet

Neal Stephenson
“People wait until they have a need for some history and then they customize it to suit their purposes.”
Neal Stephenson, Reamde

V.S. Watson
“Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to get a second wind on the revision process. Try viewing your material on a different medium; it will shed a new light on the inconsistencies in the dark.”
V.S. Watson

Don Roff
“When you print out your manuscript and read it, marking up with a pen, it sometimes feels like a criminal returning to the scene of a crime.”
Don Roff

Patricia Highsmith
“I had depressing thoughts that the theme, even though I had thought of it, was better than I was as a writer. Henry James or Thomas Mann could easily write it, but not I. 'I'm thinking of writing it from the point of view of someone at the hotel who observes her,' I said, but this did not fill me with much hope. Then my friend, who is not a writer, suggested I try it from the omniscient author's point of view.”
Patricia Highsmith, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

“I believe world religions have an important role to play in modern societies and would like to see them credibly revised and realigned, so that they may best serve the people and needs of our time.”
Joseph Rain

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