Writing Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes about writing:

Expostulated: what a stupid verb!
- Sibyl Johnston, author of "The Longman Guide to Fiction Writing for Beginners"

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
- Somerset Maugham

It's not plagiarism - I'm recycling words, as any good environmentally conscious writer would do.
- Uniek Swain

Imitation is the highest form of pissing me off. Quit stealing my content and violating my copyright.
- Jen T. Verbumessor

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
- E. L. Doctorow

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
- William Safire, in "Great Rules of Writing"

The writer who cares more about words than about characters, action, setting, atmosphere is unlikely to create a vivid and continuous dream; he gets in his own way too much; in his poetic drunkenness, he can't tell the cart- and its cargo- from the horse.
- John Gardner

What really matters about poetry is the miracle of incantation in rendering the gravity and grace and beauty of the ordinary world and thereby lending courage to strangers.
- Garrison Keillor

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
- Oscar Wilde

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.
- Truman Capote

My manuscripts are like my children, and my rough drafts, going back to my rough drafts, is like going back to stale children.
- A friend of mine

When my teachers read my work, they murder it. Teachers like killing children.
- Another friend, in response to the previous one

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I’d type a little faster.
- Isaac Asimov