Good Writing Quotes

Quotes tagged as "good-writing" Showing 1-30 of 50
Stephen King
“Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do― to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Cassandra Clare
“When Jace opened the greenhouse door, the scent hit Clary, soft as the padded blow of a cat's paw...”
Cassandra Clare

Rosemary Clement-Moore
“Good writing is good writing. In many ways, it’s the audience and their expectations that define a genre. A reader of literary fiction expects the writing to illuminate the human condition, some aspect of our world and our role in it. A reader of genre fiction likes that, too, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the story.”
Rosemary Clement-Moore

Richard Castle
“He wrote as if he were the reader. It was also how he kept his writing from becoming too cute, which is to say, about him not the subject. Rook was a journalist but strove to be a storyteller, one who let his subjects speak for themselves and stayed out of their way as much as possible.”
Richard Castle, Naked Heat

Leigh Bardugo
“Few knew that she was broken. Whatever power had blessed her, divine or otherwise, was gone-or at least out of reach. Her followers were kept at a distance so they could not see that her eyes were dark hollows, that her breath came in frightened gasps. She walked slowly, tentatively, her driftwood bones fragile in her body, this sickly girl upon whom all their hopes rested.”
Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising

E.L. Doctorow
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader--not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
E.L. Doctorow

Leigh Bardugo
“That sound - the swift, shocking report of gunfire - called the scattered, irascible, permanently seeking part of his mind into focus like nothing else.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

“She smiled. "How...cute." She chose the word rather like a candy, which she bit.”
Matthew Skelton, Endymion Spring

Dorothy L. Sayers
“…After all, it isn't really difficult to write books. Especially if you either write a rotten story in good English or a good story in rotten English, which is as far as most people seem to get nowadays.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, Unnatural Death

Charles Dickens
“Show Pleasant Riderhood a Wedding in the street, and she only saw two people taking out a regular license to quarrel and fight. Show her a Christening, and she saw a little heathen personage having a quite superfluous name bestowed upon it, inasmuch as it would be commonly addressed by some abusive epithet; which little personage was not in the least wanted by anybody, and would be shoved and banged out of everybody's way, until it should grow big enough to shove and bang. Show her a Funeral, and she saw an unremunerative ceremony in the nature of a black masquerade, conferring a temporary gentility on the performers, at an immense expense, and representing the only formal party ever given by the deceased. Show her a live father, and she saw but a duplicate of her own father, who from her infancy had been taken with fits and starts of discharging his duty to her, which duty was always incorporated in the form of a fist or a leathern strap, and being discharged hurt her. All things considered, therefore, Pleasant Riderhood was not so very, very bad.”
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
“If you can't understand a study, the problem is with the study, not with you.”
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

Douglas Wilson
“Writing well is more than mechanics, but it is not less.”
Douglas Wilson, Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life

Charles Dickens
“...Mr. Wegg sits down on a box in front of the fire, and inhales a warm and comfortable smell which is not the smell of the shop. 'For that,' Mr. Wegg inwardly decides, as he takes a corrective sniff or two, 'is musty, leathery, feathery, cellary, gluey, gummy, and,' with another sniff, 'as it might be, strong of old pairs of bellows.”
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

“... a slipstream of darkness so complete it helps illuminate the evening sky. It's like somebody dropped a dome over the ocean & lit it up with Christmas lights. ...Sans moon, Norfolk is wrapped in a mantle of pure, unadulterated blackness, leaving the stars to twinkle in harmony above. It thoroughly disorientates me.”
Tim Latham, Norfolk: Island of Secrets

“.. they look like they've escaped from a nursing home. Everywhere I turn I see puffy skin & radiant expressions, crinkles & pearls, broad smiles & high hair... Collectively they all lean forward, like bamboo in the wind. Their postures may be cruelled by age but their excitement is adolescent. Cackling & wheezing with laughter the elderly hordes squeeze into the waiting vans & shuffle about...”
Tim Latham, Norfolk: Island of Secrets

Donna Goddard
“Good fiction writers have an instinctive understanding of human nature. That's what makes stories and characters captivating. Good spiritual writers share what they sincerely practice themselves.”
Donna Goddard

“What makes a good book? An author who knows how to leave out all the unnecessary bulk and delivers a lean story where not a single word is fluff.”
Oliver Markus Malloy, Inside The Mind of an Introvert

Ettore Grillo
“Don't speak ill of anyone! Then, good luck will make you happy.”
Ettore Grillo

Sofia Samatar
“The swordmaiden wears her loyalty like a necklace of dead stars. Their worth is eternal, although they no longer shine.”
Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories

Tamsyn Muir
“I refuse to let you build your house on such shiftless & ureal sand.”
Tamsyn Muir, Harrow the Ninth

Lyssa Kay Adams
“At seven o'clock, Noah pulled up in front of Mack's house in a dirty white van that couldn't have been more obvious in its nondescript creepiness if he'd spray painted "Free Puppies" on the side.”
Lyssa Kay Adams, Undercover Bromance

“Don't write 40k if the same story can be told in 10k words.”
Oliver Markus Malloy, Inside The Mind of an Introvert

Marcel Theroux
“The love in a marriage turns like the lamp in a lighthouse, leaving you in darkness for long stretches, but it always comes back. I believe that but I can't tell whether it is a thought or a quotation.”
Marcel Theroux

Ian Pike Hammer
“My two keys to writing a good story: 1. Keep it simple, 2. Let the story be the star, not the words you use.”
Ian Pike Hammer

Geoffrey Douglas
“Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything. - Stephen King”
Geoffrey Douglas, The Grifter, the Poet, and the Runaway Train: Stories from a Yankee Writer's Notebook

Sofia Samatar
“Beyond the rock where we sheltered there was a blackness filled with screams where all the gods unknown to us had been released.”
Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories

China Miéville
“Behind her, for a moment, the sky was very full: an aerostat droned in the distance; tiny specks lurched erratically around it, winged figures playing in its wake like dolphins round a whale; and in front of them all another train, heading into the city this time, heading for the centre of New Crobuzon, the knot of architectural tissue where the fibres of the city congealed, where the skyrails of the militia radiated out from the Spike like a web and the five great trainlines of the city met, converging on the great variegated fortress of dark brick and scrubbed concrete and wood and steel and stone, the edifice that yawned hugely at the city's vulgar heart, Perdido Street Station.”
China Mieville, Perdido Street Station

Philip K. Dick
“He should have that chilled but somehow enthusiastic look, as if he believed in nothing and yet somehow had absolute faith.”
Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

China Miéville
“He is unable to think in words. The shells begin once again to pound the water around him, to make it into a bloody broth of metal and the dead.”
China Miéville, The Scar

Anne Lamott
“Good writing is about telling the truth.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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