Twelve favorite quotes on writing from ten authors I admire.
There is only one plot – things are not what they seem. – Jim Thompson
You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say. – Truman Capote
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. – Elmore Leonard
Every sentence must do one of two things: reveal character or advance the action – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. Edgar Allan Poe
I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat. – Edgar Allan Poe
One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off. – Lawrence Block
When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done. – Stephen King
If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write – Stephen King
There’s always time to read. Don’t trust a writer who doesn’t read. It’s like eating food prepared by a cook who doesn’t eat. – Laura Lippman
The more your reason, the less you create. – Raymond Chandler
Sure, I have advice for people starting to write. Don’t. I don’t need the competition. – Robert B. Parker