Writing Craft Quotes

Quotes tagged as "writing-craft" (showing 1-30 of 439)
Stephen King
“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”
Stephen King

James M. Cain
“If your writing doesn't keep you up at night, it won't keep anyone else up either”
James M. Cain

George R.R. Martin
“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.”
George R.R. Martin

Pablo Neruda
“While I'm writing, I'm far away;
and when I come back, I've gone.”
Pablo Neruda

C.S. Lewis
“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.”
C.S. Lewis

Shannon L. Alder
“I write to find strength.
I write to become the person that hides inside me.
I write to light the way through the darkness for others.
I write to be seen and heard.
I write to be near those I love.
I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper.
I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear.
I write past the embarrassment of exposure.
I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal.
I write myself out of nightmares.
I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings.
I write to remember.
I write knowing conversations don’t always take place.
I write because speaking can’t be reread.
I write to sooth a mind that races.
I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand.
I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide.
I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long.
I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be.
I write to provide a legacy.
I write to make sense out of senselessness.
I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding.
I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers.
I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time.
I write because God loves stories.
I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.”
Shannon L. Alder

Iain M. Banks
“The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn't.”
Iain M. Banks

Robert Hass
“It's hell writing and it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
Robert Hass

Michael Connelly
“You know what I did after I wrote my first novel? I shut up and wrote twenty-three more."

("The Castle")”
Michael Connelly

Bernard Cornwell
“Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Bernard Cornwall

Miranda July
“The idea that you might end up in a job that doesn't allow you to be who you are, over the course of a lifetime, is still one of the most chilling nightmares to me. It's a good metaphor for fears I have about losing my soul in some accidental, mundane way. So, to me, these jobs that my characters have are very loaded. They immediately suggest a complex character to me, a woman who is, say, a secretary, but also a vigilante on behalf of her own soul.”
Miranda July

Michael Chabon
“You need three things to become a successful novelist: talent, luck and discipline. Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.”
Michael Chabon

Arthur Schopenhauer
“The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.”
Arthur Schopenhauer, The Works of Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life and Other Essays

Nora Roberts
“I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page.”
Nora Roberts

Amy Joy
“Anyone who says writing is easy isn't doing it right.”
Amy Joy

Marcus Aurelius
“The blazing fire makes flames and brightness out of everything thrown into it.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Tiffany Madison
“I'm not a writer. Ernest Hemingway was a writer. I just have a vivid imagination and type 90 WPM.”
Tiffany Madison

Anne Lamott
“One thing I know for sure about raising children is that every single day a kid needs discipline.... But also every single day a kid needs a break.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Valerie Sherwood
“Don’t write what you know—what you know may bore you, and thus bore your readers. Write about what interests you—and interests you deeply—and your readers will catch fire at your words.”
Valerie Sherwood

Robert McKee
“If the story you're telling, is the story you're telling, you're in deep shit.”
Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

“Five common traits of good writers: (1) They have something to say. (2) They read widely and have done so since childhood. (3) They possess what Isaac Asimov calls a "capacity for clear thought," able to go from point to point in an orderly sequence, an A to Z approach. (4) They're geniuses at putting their emotions into words. (5) They possess an insatiable curiosity, constantly asking Why and How.”
James J. Kilpatrick

Michael J. Sullivan
“Slaying dragons, melting witches, and banishing demons is all fun and games until someone loses a sidekick—then it’s personal. The bad guy isn’t just the “bad guy” anymore, he’s the BAD GUY!”
Michael J. Sullivan

Red Haircrow
“Every word I write is like a drop of my blood. If it's flowed passionately and long, I need time to recover from the emotion spent before I begin a new story. My characters are aspects of my life. I have to respectfully and carefully move between them.”
Red Haircrow

Virginia Woolf
“So I have to create the whole thing afresh for myself each time. Probably all writers now are in the same boat. It is the penalty we pay for breaking with tradition, and the solitude makes the writing more exciting though the being read less so. One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with ones words.”
Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary: Being Extracts from the Diary of Virginia Woolf

Jennifer Crusie
“Part of being a writer is defending your vision and not caving in to outside pressures.”
Jennifer Crusie

“If I ask you to think about something, you can decide not to. But if I make you feel something? Now I have your attention.”
Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

John Edgar Wideman
“Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.”
John Edgar Wideman

“You must write as if Dostoyevsky himself will be reading your novel, and Shakespeare will be acting it out.”
Christina Westover, Precipice

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

James Scott Bell
“In fact, one could argue that the skill of the fiction writer boils down to the ability to exploit intensity.”
James Scott Bell, Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish

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