Monday, August 06, 2012

Quotes from Famous Writers

I'm still eyeball-deep in revisions, so no time to write a post today. But I've got some great quotes for you instead! Enjoy!


Genius gives birth, talent delivers.
- Jack Kerouac

What the young writer is looking for is not a critic who will slap him on the back and say, ‘Greatest thing since O. Henry,’ but rather the one who will toss the manuscript down in disgust, with ‘You know better than that! It’s rotten! Do it all over again!’
- Henry Sydnor Harrison

Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.
- Jim Tully

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

The writing of a mystery story is more of a sport than a fine art. It is a game between the writer and the reader. If, once in a while, a really fine book comes out of this contest, that is good; but the game’s the thing. If, on Page 4, the reader knows that the soda cracker is spread with butter mixed with arsenic, and later on this is proven to be true, then the reader has won the game. If, however, when the reader finishes the book, he says, ‘I didn’t get it—all the clues were there, plain as who killed Cock-Robin, but I didn’t get it,’ then the author has won the game. The author has to play fair, though. He has to arrange his clues in an orderly manner, so that the reader can see them if he looks hard enough.
- Polly Simpson Macmanus

You can’t write a novel all at once, any more than you can swallow a whale in one gulp. You do have to break it up into smaller chunks. But those smaller chunks aren’t good old familiar short stories. Novels aren’t built out of short stories. They are built out of scenes.
- Orson Scott Card

We writers are apt to forget that, as the gunsmoke fogs and the hero rides wildly to the rescue, although the background of this furious action is fixed indelibly in our own minds, it is not fixed in the mind of the reader. He won’t see or feel it unless you make him—bearing always in mind that you can’t stop the gunfight or the racing horse to do the job.
- Gunnison Steele

8 comments:

D.G. Hudson said...

Kerouac and Orson Scott Card are my faves, mainly because they say what I believe.

Nice interlude to remind us how writers before us have viewed the writing life.

Kelly Hashway said...

Great quotes!

Good luck with your revisions, Tabitha!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Love the Orson Scott Card quote. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your revisions.

Sarah Negovetich said...

As always, wonderful inspiration.

angel011 said...

Nice quotes!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I love the one about being built out of scenes. I so get that. Awesome quotes!

Bookish in a Box said...

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. Even his advice has a horror feel to it...

Ednah Walters said...

Nice quotes. So true about scenes adding up to a whole. Good luck with your revisions