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Writing Quotes

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Quotes about writing for inspiration, motivation or fun.

A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors. Henry Ward Beecher

A book is like a piece of rope; it takes on meaning only in connection with the things it holds together. Norman Cousins

A book is sent out into the world, and there is no way of fully anticipating the responses it will elicit. Consider the responses called forth by the Bible, Homer, Shakespeare - let alone contemporary poetry or a modern novel. Chaim Potok

A book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then. C.S. Lewis

A cardinal rule of writing is never interrupt yourself to explain something. If you must bring up an obscure topic, drop informative hints about it as you go along so that you don't end up with the entire explanation all in one place. This keeps you from skidding to a stop and sounding teacherish. Otherwise it's better to omit the obscure topic altogether, or as mothers might put it: if you can't say it interestingly, don't say it at all. Florence King

A character is never the author who created him. It is quite likely, however, that an author may be all his characters simultaneously. Albert Camus

A child can identify with adult characters- but only if they are sympathetically drawn and simple enough. E. W. Hildick

A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness. Edith Wharton

A computer does not substitute for judgment any more than a pencil substitutes for literacy. But writing without a pencil is no particular advantage. Robert McNamara

A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. Mignon McLaughlin

A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most kick-ass form. It's a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits. Chris Baty

A good book should leave you slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. William Styron

A good editor understands what you're talking and writing about and doesn't meddle too much. Irwin Shaw

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. Ring Lardner

A good novel editor is invisible. Terri Windling

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. G.K. Chesterton

A good short-story writer has an instinct for sketching in just enough background to ground the specific story. Lynn Abbey

A good style must, first of all, be clear. It must not be mean or above the dignity of the subject. It must be appropriate. Aristotle

A good style should show no signs of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident. W. Somerset Maugham

A good title should be like a good metaphor. It should intrigue without being too baffling or too obvious. Walker Percy

A good writer cannot avoid having social consciousness. I don't mean this about small pieces of writing, but about a big book. If it's a big book, there has to be more than one undertow. Marguerite Young

A good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind. Isaac B. Singer

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. William Styron

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Sydney Smith

A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to. Tom Bissell

A hidden nerve is what every writer is ultimately about. It's what all writers wish to uncover when writing about themselves in this age of the personal memoir. And yet it's also the first thing every writer learns to sidestep, to disguise, as though the nerve were a deep and shameful secret that needs to be swathed in many sheaths. André Aciman

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