Things Famous Writers Have Said About Writing
“When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” Stephen King
“I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.” Harold Pinter
“Tension is wonderful for making people laugh.” John Cleese
“I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself.” Tom Stoppard
“Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates.” Mordecai Richler
“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” Alfred Hitchcock
“The writer who cares more about words than about story – 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
“The ideas aren't that important. Really they aren't. Everyone's got an idea for a book, a movie, a story, a TV series.” Neil Gaiman
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein
“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.” William Shakespeare
“There are no rules in writing. There are useful principles. Throw them away when they're not useful. But always know what you're throwing away.” Will Shetterly
“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'. Otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” C. S. Lewis
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The exit is usually where the entrance was.” Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
“The two most engaging powers of an author are, to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.” Samuel Johnson
“You must learn to overcome your very natural and appropriate revulsion for your own work.” William Gibson
“Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say.” Sholem Asch
“When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.”
Go on, all of you who are completely and utterly stuck - follow Raymond Chandler's advice - who knows what will happen!
PS I have posted this because I am too lazy to actual write something original. And because I really, really like these quotes. And because I have a play and a novel to write...(and a thesis to edit, and workshops to give, and an album launch to manage, and a coupla short stories, some marking, two kids, three kittens whose mom disappeared, oh yeah and a day job, and even, miraculously, a husband...)
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