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Quotes About Writing Advice

Quotes tagged as "writing-advice" (showing 1-30 of 297)
Ernest Hemingway
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
Ernest Hemingway

Harper Lee
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Isabel Allende
“Write what should not be forgotten.”
Isabel Allende

Ernest Hemingway
“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”
Ernest Hemingway

C.S. Lewis
“Don't say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers Please will you do the job for me.”
C.S. Lewis

Ally Carter
“Don't get it right, get it written.”
Ally Carter

Mark Twain
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.”
Mark Twain

Anne Lamott
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.”
Brian Clark

Anne Lamott
“Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.”
Anne Lamott

Neil Gaiman
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that - but you are the only you.

Tarantino - you can criticize everything that Quentin does - but nobody writes Tarantino stuff like Tarantino. He is the best Tarantino writer there is, and that was actually the thing that people responded to - they’re going ‘this is an individual writing with his own point of view’.

There are better writers than me out there, there are smarter writers, there are people who can plot better - there are all those kinds of things, but there’s nobody who can write a Neil Gaiman story like I can.”
Neil Gaiman

Robert A. Heinlein
“Heinlein's Rules for Writers

Rule One: You Must Write
Rule Two: Finish What Your Start
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold”
Robert A. Heinlein

Edgar Allan Poe
“A man's grammar, like Caesar's wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Terry Pratchett
“Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences.”
Terry Pratchett

Roman Payne
“When I met a truly beautiful girl, I would tell her that if she spent the night with me, I would write a novel or a story about her. This usually worked; and if her name was to be in the title of the story, it almost always worked. Then, later, when we'd passed a night of delicious love-making together, after she’d gone and I’d felt that feeling of happiness mixed with sorrow, I sometimes would write a book or story about her. Sometimes her character, her way about herself, her love-making, it sometimes marked me so heavily that I couldn't go on in life and be happy unless I wrote a book or a story about that woman, the happy and sad memory of that woman. That was the only way to keep her, and to say goodbye to her without her ever leaving.”
Roman Payne

Tina Fey
“It's a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can't be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it...You have to let people see what you wrote.”
Tina Fey, Bossypants

Woody Allen
“Maugham then offers the greatest advice anyone could give to a young author: "At the end of an interrogation sentence, place a question mark. You'd be surprised how effective it can be.”
Woody Allen

Ernest Hemingway
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”
Ernest Hemingway

William Faulkner
“I don't think anybody can teach anybody anything. I think that you learn it, but the young writer that is as I say demon-driven and wants to learn and has got to write, he don't know why, he will learn from almost any source that he finds. He will learn from older people who are not writers, he will learn from writers, but he learns it -- you can't teach it.”
William Faulkner

William Faulkner
“Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.”
William Faulkner

Erin Bow
“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
Erin Bow

Neil Gaiman
“Tell your story. Don't try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Any starting writer starts out with other people's voices. But as quickly as you can start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there will always be better writers than you and there will always be smarter writers than you, but you are the only you.”
Neil Gaiman

Stephen King
“Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when if feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
Stephen King

S.M. Blooding
“It's okay to write crap. Just don't try publishing it while it's still crap.”
S.M. Blooding

Sandra Brown
“You can only write by putting words on a paper one at a time.”
Sandra Brown

Steven Pressfield
“Next morning I went over to Paul’s for coffee and told him I had finished. “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Jeffrey Eugenides
“She thought a writer should work harder writing a book than she did reading it.”
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

Khaled Hosseini
“about clichés. Avoid them like the plague.”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

L.M. Montgomery
“Ten good lines out of four hundred, Emily—comparatively good, that is—and all the rest balderdash—balderdash, Emily."
"I—suppose so," said Emily faintly.
Her eyes brimmed with tears—her lips quivered. She could not help it. Pride was hopelessly submerged in the bitterness of her disappointment. She felt exactly like a candle that somebody had blown out.
"What are you crying for? demanded Mr. Carpenter.
Emily blinked away tears and tried to laugh.
"I—I'm sorry—you think it's no good—" she said.
Mr. Carpenter gave the desk a mighty thump.
"No good! Didn't I tell you there were ten good lines? Jade, for ten righteous men Sodom had been spared."
"Do you mean—that—after all—" The candle was being relighted again.
"Of course, I mean. If at thirteen you can write ten good lines, at twenty you'll write ten times ten—if the gods are kind. Stop messing over months, though—and don't imagine you're a genius, either, if you have written ten decent lines. I think there's something trying to speak through you—but you'll have to make yourself a fit instrument for it. You've got to work hard and sacrifice—by gad, girl, you've chosen a jealous goddess. And she never lets her votaries go—not even when she shuts her ears forever to their plea.”
L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon

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