1. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK

    Brilliant lines

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DefinitelyMaybe, Oct 17, 2015.

    Sometimes I read some really brilliant lines (or hear them on radio, TV, or film), and I wonder how someone came up with that.

    I've just heard one on Doctor Who.

    "People talk about premonition as if it's something strange. It's not. It's just remembering in the wrong direction."

    IMHO that's brilliant.

    Has anyone else got any favourite lines, or lines they are really impressed with?
     
    ShalaylaW and Simpson17866 like this.
  2. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    I've been watching The Blacklist, and I have found on several occasions that there has been a cat and mouse discussion between Reddington and his quarry. The script often subverts the anticipated profound retort with a gunshot. That is my favourite type of line- no pretentiousness or show-boating from the writers- just a swift and decisive response.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe and Simpson17866 like this.
  3. Inks
    Offline

    Inks Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    167
    "What is the most cowardly and shameful thing in human conduct? It's when people with power, and those who flatter them, hide in safe places and extol war — who force patriotism and self-sacrifice on others, sending them to the battlefield to die."

    For those who like to share a drink: "Humans were drinking alcohol five-thousand years ago, and we're still drinking it now. Alcohol is humanity's friend. Can I abandon a friend?"

    LOGH - Yang Wenli.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  4. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

    -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hicker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    There are a lot of great line in THHGTTG, IMHO.
     
    sprirj, Robert Musil and tonguetied like this.
  5. tonguetied
    Offline

    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    219
    Location:
    Near Atlanta
    "Why isn't anyone ever happy to see us?"

    Hopefully I have the wording close enough.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  6. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    From "Casablanca":

    Police officer: Captain, another visa problem has come up.
    Capt. Renault: Show her in.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  7. Robert Musil
    Offline

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    USA
    I was going to reply to this thread with a line from one of the Viriconium novels (I think it's in the beginning of The Pastel City), something to the effect of "All recluses think they know themselves better than they actually do."

    But, now I can't find it. Maybe I just made it up, but I swear that's where I read it.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  8. Bookster
    Offline

    Bookster Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Right between the eyes
    [his] father the history professor had always maintained the key to understanding our culture lay in the names of Shiloh and Antietam. It was only in their aftermath that we discovered how many of our own countrymen - who spoke the same language and practiced the same religion and lived on the same carpet-like, green, undulating, limestone-ridged farmland - we would willingly kill in support of causes that were not only indefensible but had little to do with our lives.

    James Lee Burke - Rain Gods
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  9. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    "Just because two people are willing to die for each other doesn't mean that they know how to live with each other"
     
  10. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    "Because I could not stop for Death -
    He kindly stopped for me -"

    - Emily Dickinson
     
    DefinitelyMaybe and Simpson17866 like this.
  11. ShalaylaW
    Offline

    ShalaylaW Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Wildwood, AB
    "There is a passion in you that scares me"
    - This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  12. Tella
    Offline

    Tella Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    28
    On the matter of love:

    Alchemist Boy: "I'll give you half of my life, so give me half of yours!"
    Mechanic Girl: "Argh... why are you alchemists like this... You want half? I'll give you all of it and I don't care how much I get."

    One of the final scene of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, a Japanese animation\manga series.
    Basically by the alchemist law of equivalent exchange says that in order to create something, another thing of equivalent value must be offered, hence the alchemist's way of thinking.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  13. Aaron Smith
    Offline

    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    721
    Likes Received:
    401
    "When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them..."

    To Kill a Mockingbird.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  14. davidov
    Offline

    davidov Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Bangkok
    You just take an idea and chisel away at it. It doesn't have to be an earth-shattering idea, but if you distil it down to the right words it usually sounds pretty good. Of course, you need to have the ideas in the first place, but writing is all about ideas, if you ask me.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  15. davidov
    Offline

    davidov Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Bangkok
    I reckon this could work the other way too: you can turn a simple, profound idea, if it is rich enough, into an entire book. Say, for instance, one day you jotted down in your journal: "People are blind to uncertainty". With a bit of scholarship and added water you could develop that idea into a whole book (except in this case Taleb has already done it with The Black Swan).
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  16. Ivana
    Offline

    Ivana Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Far side of Unatsu
    “In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.”
    “The car goes where the eyes go.”
    Garth Stein, "The art of racing in the rain"
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  17. Tella
    Offline

    Tella Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    28
    "There is no limit to us, we have the power of love."
    One Piece, second opening intro, English dub.

    It sure is cliche, but it sure is true. Love is often associated with a merging into infinity or eternity. The context of this line, though, has to do with friendship - true friendship. One Piece has a way of taking a cliche and flipping it upside down, this is one of them.
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  18. Tella
    Offline

    Tella Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    28
    "Do you to build a snowman? It doesn't have to be a snowman..."
    Do I really need to? Fine - Frozen, Disney.

    I haven't watched Frozen honestly, but I had a chance of hearing that line and it conquered me. It is an instance of veiled honesty. It's a child telling her sister "It's not the snowman I want - it's you..." and I find it deeply touching and literary. Funny how an unintentional nuance gets you like that ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
    DefinitelyMaybe and Simpson17866 like this.
  19. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,252
    No, I'm pretty sure that was intentional ;)
     
    DefinitelyMaybe likes this.
  20. ShalaylaW
    Offline

    ShalaylaW Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Wildwood, AB
    "How gratifying for once to know
    That those above will serve those down below!"

    "Because in all of the whole human race
    Mrs. Lovett, there are two kinds of men and only two
    There's the one staying put in his proper place
    And the one with his foot in the other one's face
    Look at me, Mrs Lovett, look at you.
    No, we all deserve to die
    Even you, Mrs Lovett, even I!"
    - Sweeney Todd

    I don't think I have to say much about these lines. I love that movie, and everything has this gruesome, darkly comical, deep sadness to it that rings true.
     
    MelanieJane and DefinitelyMaybe like this.
  21. Genghis McCann
    Offline

    Genghis McCann Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    "When I get home from the pub tonight I'm going to give my wife a good listening-to."
     
    Imaginarily and DefinitelyMaybe like this.
  22. DefinitelyMaybe
    Offline

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    227
    Location:
    Leicester, UK
    From a cartoon by William Hamilton, quoted in "What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers" by Bernays and Painter.

    "Frances, can I get back to you? Gordon ran away with the babysitter and I'm trying to see if there's a short story in it."

    :D :D :D
     

Share This Page