Favorite Quotes on Writing

Twelve favorite quotes on writing from ten authors I admire.

Thompson-jim

There is only one plot – things are not what they seem. – Jim Thompson

Truman-Capote

You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say. – Truman Capote

elmore-leonard

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

Kurt-Vonnegut

Every sentence must do one of two things: reveal character or advance the action – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Edgar-Allan-Poe-Charles-Smeldon

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

Block

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

King

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

laura-lippman

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 

RaymondChandlerPromoPhoto

The more your reason, the less you create. – Raymond Chandler

Parker

Sure, I have advice for people starting to write. Don’t. I don’t need the competition. – Robert B. Parker

4 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes on Writing

    1. I recently reread Poe’s The Black Cat, a masterpiece of short story writing. The quotes are all inspiringly. However, I do love Capote’s quote especially which frees up the fiction writer to say anything he desires. Hey, it’s not me, it’s the characters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Capote is one of my favorite authors. A Christmas Memory is probably the most beautiful work of fiction I have ever read. And then, of course, there’s In Cold Blood. So elegantly written and yet so compelling and real. I know it has its critics and there are problems and contradictions with Copote’s recollection and some of the other major players in the case. Nonetheless it is nothing short of a literary masterpiece. It marked the creation of the true crime genre and it has not been equaled.

        Liked by 1 person

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