Quotes


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QuoteAuthor
Some critics will write 'Maya Angelou is a natural writer' --
which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.
Maya Angelou
You must write for children the same way you write for adults, only better.Maxim Gorky
The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
Mary Heaton Vorse
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.Mary Anne Radmacher
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) Everybody drinks water.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
If I had more time, I would write a shorter story.Mark Twain
A classic is something everybody talks about and nobody has read.Mark Twain
Don't say the old lady screamed.
Bring her on and let her scream."
Mark Twain
Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. Mark Twain
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.Mark Twain
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.Mark Twain
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
Mark Twain
There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.Mark Twain
I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.

Mark Twain
To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.Mark Twain
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.Mark Twain
The difference between fact and fiction is that fiction has to be believable.Mark Twain
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.Mark Twain
Don't say the old lady screamed- bring her on and let her scream.Mark Twain
"Well, the first paragraph is done. Time for a brownie."Marge Simpson from The Simpsons
A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.

Margaret Atwood
A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.Margaret Atwood
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.Margaret Atwood
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.Margaret Atwood
Write quickly and you will never write well. Write well, and you will soon write quickly.Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, 65 A.D.
Putting pen to paper lights more fire than matches ever willMalcolm Forbes
I believe that good questions are more important than answers, and the best children's books ask questions, and make the readers ask questions. And every new question is going to disturb someone's universeMadeleine L'Engle
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.Madeleine L'Engle
You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it's going to be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children.Madeleine L'Engle
So this is always the key: you have to write the book you love, the book that's alive in your heart.  That's the one you have to write.Lurleen McDaniel
When characters are really alive, before their author, the latter does nothing but follow them in their action.Luigi Pirandello
Writing a novel without being asked seems a bit like having a baby when you have nowhere to live.Lucy Ellman
Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.Louise Brooks
A writer's brain is like a magician's hat. If you're going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in it first.Louis L'Amour
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.Lord Byron
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.Longfellow
Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters - to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people.Logan Pearsall Smith
If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.Lillian Hellman
Unless a writer lives with a periodic
delusion of his greatness, he will not continue writing. He must believe, against all reason and evidence, that the public will experience a catastrophic loss if he does not complete his novel. The public is just clamoring to give him his fame.
Leonard Bishop
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990)
The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.Leo Rosten (1908 - 1997)
A writer writes not because he is educated, but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.
Leo Rosten
Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.Leo Rosten
A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood. The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.Leo Rosten
Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.Leo Buscaglia
Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.Lawrence Kasdan
Critics are by no means the end of the law. Do not think all is over with you because you articles are rejected. It may be that the editor has his drawer full, or that he does not know enough to appreciate you, or you have not gained a reputation, or he is not in a mood to be pleased. A critic's judgment is like that of any intelligent person. If he has experience, he is capable of judging whether a book will sell. That is all.

junior editor, Harper's Bazaar, 1866
Lavina Goodell
Whenever life hands you trauma, stick it in a book.Laurie Halse Anderson
You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money's in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
Larry Niven
We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
Kurt Vonnegut
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