Quotes on Writing

Here are some sage quotes on writing collected by Business Insider writer, Megan Willett.

On Getting Started:

“I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.” – J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter” series.

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London, “White Fang.”

On Word Choice And Punctuation:

“Never use a long word where a short one will do.” – George Orwell, “1984.”

“If you are using dialogue ”” say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.” – John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby.”

On Story Development:

“The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” – Vladimir Nabokov, “Lolita.”

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” – Edgar Allen Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

“Get it down. Take Chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” – William Faulkner, “The Sound and the Fury.”

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451.”

On Editing:

“Write drunk, edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

“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 Green Mile.”

“My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.” – Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories.”

“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, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

And Why Simplicity Is Always Key:

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” – Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence" and other writings.

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” – William Butler Yeats, “Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/quotes-on-writing-from-famous-authors-2013-9#ixzz2f3LzlKa9