Authorship Quotes

Quotes tagged as "authorship" (showing 1-30 of 97)
William Goldman
“Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.”
William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade

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

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
“The pen is the tongue of the mind.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

A.A. Milne
“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.”
A.A. Milne, Not That It Matters

Dave Eggers
“You have what I can afford to give. You are a panhandler, begging for anything, and I am the man walking briskly by, tossing a quarter or so into your paper cup. I can afford to give you this. This does not break me.”
Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

J.R. Moehringer
“I don't know. Sometimes I try to say what's on my mind and it comes out sounding like I ate a dictionary and I'm shitting pages. Sorry”
J.R. Moehringer, The Tender Bar

George R.R. Martin
“And if I'm guilty of having gratuitous sex, then I'm also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes.

A novel for me is an immersive experience where I feel as if I have lived it and that I've tasted the food and experienced the sex and experienced the terror of battle. So I want all of the detail, all of the sensory things—whether it's a good experience, or a bad experience, I want to put the reader through it. To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.”
George R.R. Martin

Arthur Schopenhauer
“No one writes anything worth writing, unless he writes entirely for the sake of his subject.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Literature

Breece D'J Pancake
“I feel my fear moving away in rings through time for a million years.”
Breece D'J Pancake, The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

Cormac McCarthy
“Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don't have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It's not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn't have done it that way.

[Interview, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009]”
Cormac McCarthy

Alexandra Bracken
“You get a good review, and it’s like crack. You need another hit. And another. And another. I know authors are like Tinkerbell and generally need applause to survive, but it’s a slippery slope.”
Alexandra Bracken

Ngaio Marsh
“We do not wait for inspiration. We work because we've jolly well got to. But when all is said and done, we toil at this particular job because it's turned out to be our particular job, and in a weird sort of way I suppose we may be said to like it.”
Ngaio Marsh, Ngaio Marsh: A Life

Charles Dickens
“Don't be afraid! We won't make an author of you, while there's an honest trade to be learnt, or brick-making to turn to.”
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

John Green
“In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you.”
John Green

Voltaire
“He showed, in a few words, that it is not sufficient to throw together a few incidents that are to be met with in every romance, and that to dazzle the spectator the thought should be new, without being farfetched; frequently sublime, but always natural; the author should have a thorough knowledge of the human heart and make it speak properly; he should be a complete poet, without showing an affectation of it in any of the characters of his piece; he should be a perfect master of his language, speak it with all its pruity and with the utmost harmony, and yet so as not to make the sense a slave to the rhyme. Whoever, added he, neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors.”
Voltaire, Candide

Tanith Lee
“I held out my book. It was precious to me, as were all the things I'd written; even where I despised their inadequacy there was not one I would disown. Each tore its way from my entrails. Each had shortened my life, killed me with its own special little death.”
Tanith Lee, The Book of the Damned

Budi Darma
“Begitu seorang pengarang mati, tugasnya sebagai pengarang tidak dapat diambil alih orang lain. Sebaliknya, kalau dekan, camat, atau mantri polisi mati, dalam waktu singkat akan ada orang yang dapat dan mampu menggantikannya.”
Budi Darma, Proses Kreatif: Mengapa dan Bagaimana Saya Mengarang

Anne Bradstreet
“The Author To Her Book


Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did'st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad exposed to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
The visage was so irksome in my sight,
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find.
In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam.
In critic's hands, beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.”
Anne Bradstreet, The Works of Anne Bradstreet

Roman Payne
“I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!”
Roman Payne

Arthur Schopenhauer
“There are, first of all, two kinds of authors: those who write for the subject's sake, and those who write for writing's sake. [...] The truth is that when an author begins to write for the sake of covering paper, he is cheating the reader; because he writes under the pretext that he has something to say.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Literature

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

S.A.R.K.
“Use lots of exclamation points. They love to be overused.”
S.A.R.K., Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity

Christopher Hitchens
“Every article and review and book that I have ever published has constituted an appeal to the person or persons to whom I should have talked before I dared to write it. I never launch any little essay without the hope—and the fear, because the encounter may also be embarrassing—that I shall draw a letter that begins, 'Dear Mr. Hitchens, it seems that you are unaware that…' It is in this sense that authorship is collaborative with 'the reader.' And there's no help for it: you only find out what you ought to have known by pretending to know at least some of it already.

It doesn't matter how obscure or arcane or esoteric your place of publication may be: some sweet law ensures that the person who should be scrutinizing your work eventually does do so.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Arthur Schopenhauer
“A book can never be anything more than the impress of its author's thoughts; and the value of these will lie either in the matter about which he has thought, or in the form which his thoughts take, in other words, what it is that he has thought about it.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Literature

Samuel R. Delany
“One picks one's way about through the glass and aluminum doors, the receptionists' smiles, the lunches with too much alcohol, the openings with more, the mobs of people desperately trying to define good taste in such loud voices one can hardly hear oneself giggle, while the shebang is lit by flashes and flares through the paint-stained window, glimmers under the police-locked door, or, if one is taking a rare walk outside that day, by a light suffusing the whole sky, complex as the northern aurora.”
Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren

Ngaio Marsh
“Why do you want to become an author? I will accept only one answer. If it is because you feel you can write better than you can do anything else then go ahead and do it without frills and flourishes. Stick to your present job and write in your spare time: but do it as if it is a whole time job.”
Ngaio Marsh, Death on the Air and Other Stories

Neal Stephenson
“Just aiming a speely input device, or a Farspark chambre, or whatever you call it... a speelycaptor... at something doesn't collect what is meaningful to me. I need someone to gather it in with all their senses, mix it round in their head, and make it over into words.”
Neal Stephenson, Anathem

Ajip Rosidi
“Pada masa itu sering saya menjawab pertanyaan yang kadang-kadang diajukan kepada saya, "Mengapa Saudara menjadi pengarang?" dengan, "Karena saya tak dapat bekerja lain. Kalau saya bisa jadi importir atau eksportir, tentu saya akan menjadi importir atau eksportir.”
Ajip Rosidi, Proses Kreatif: Mengapa dan Bagaimana Saya Mengarang

Michel de Montaigne
“All is a-swarm with commentaries: of authors there is a dearth.”
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

M.J. Stoddard
“The calling of an author is more than just to entertain, but also to share ones experiences with the world.”
M.J. Stoddard

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