The Great Writers' Quote Thread

Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Lucas, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That is certainly proving true.
     
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  2. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    "In order to write about life first you must live it." - Ernest Hemingway

    Who'd've thunk? I tend to forget this a lot, actually.
     
  3. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Said Lovecraft, ordering his fourteenth boilermaker. Or maybe he was attempting to pick up the barmaid, after his fourteenth boilermaker...
     
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  4. Mish

    Mish Senior Member

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    “The Light failed; but the Darkness that followed was more than loss of light. In that hour was made a Darkness that seemed not lack but a thing with being of its own: for it was indeed made by malice out of Light, and it had power to pierce the eye, and to enter heart and mind, and strangle the very will” J. R. R. Tolkien
     
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  5. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I've been trying to track this down for years, and finally found it. it's from James Thurber:

    He picked out this sentence in a New Yorker casual of mine: "After dinner, the men moved into the living room," and he wanted to know why I, or the editors, had put in the comma. I could explain that one all night. I wrote back that this particular comma was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.
    • The Years with Ross (Little Brown & Co, 1957, pg.267)
     
  6. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Another one from James Thurber, this time on editing:


    Memo to The New Yorker (1959)
     
  7. writingistelepathy

    writingistelepathy Member

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    My favourite quote is actually where my username comes from. It is an adaptation of what Stephen King says in his memoir/writing guide book - "On Writing".

    In his book On Writing, Stephen King explains what writing is in three words: “Telepathy, of course.”

    I just love it, because it speaks the truth and I can relate to it wholeheartedly. I can relate to it so much because I really struggle with having a vast amount of ideas (or nuggets of ideas) swirling around in my brain...but I really struggle to make them coherent into a novel or chapter or anything at all.

    For me, this quote sums up my one of my biggest struggles as a writer: getting the bloody ideas out of my head and onto the page.
     
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  8. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Gold. And that's why many writers stick with an editor who 'gets it'.
     
  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, and that quote takes in the other half of the equation writers need to consider. It's not just getting it 'out there,' it's getting it out there effectively, so your reader picks up exactly what you meant to convey. Telepathy implies a sender AND a receiver. :) It's not just one-way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  10. writingistelepathy

    writingistelepathy Member

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    Definitely! Although another King quote also links back to this point, that we need to strike the balance of giving the reader enough information that they can visualise what we are trying to create, but also leave enough room for the reader to fill in the gaps in their own mind.


    “Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's”

    It amazes me that no two people would never interpret or imagine a story in exactly the same way. But I agree with you, we need to get across the key messages/story efficiently!
     
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  11. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like that quote even better. :)
     
  12. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. — Gloria Steinem
     
  13. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug."

    -- Mark Twain
     
  14. The Bishop

    The Bishop Active Member

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    "On the first day of school, they said 'what do you wanna be, boy?'. I said amazing"

    - Mod Sun
     
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  15. Mish

    Mish Senior Member

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    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    -Frank Herbert
     
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  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Thinking... Supporter Contributor

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    "...All wordplay in fiction or speeches or whatever is practical joking, since people are made to feel fear or love or satisfaction or whatever while they are simply sitting someplace and nothing much is really going on."

    --Kurt Vonnegut, from Fates Worse Than Death
     
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  18. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Another one from Kurt Vonnegut, this time from Cat's Cradle. The quote was on talking, but it could as easily be about writing:

    "People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say."

    Anyway, that's why I keep writing.
     
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  19. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Don't try to talk with your mouth full." - Mom
     
  20. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I know this is long, but this is about the best advice on writing humor that I've ever come across.
    It's From Thurber Country by James Thurber, one of the great humor writers of the last century.

    \
     
  21. Mish

    Mish Senior Member

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    A pity to waste such fighting men as the Duke's, he thought. He smiled more broadly, laughing at himself. Pity should be cruel! He nodded. Failure was, by definition, expendable. The whole universe sat there, open to the man who could make the right decisions. The uncertain rabbits had to be exposed, made to run from their burrows. Else how could you control them and breed them? He pictured his fighting men as bees routing the rabbits. And he thought: The day hums sweetly when you have enough bees working for you.”

    -Frank Herbert
     
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  22. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Thinking... Supporter Contributor

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  23. Mish

    Mish Senior Member

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    "A plan depends as much on execution as it does upon concept."

    -Frank Herbert
     
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  24. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Which goes nicely with another quote, although I don't know who made it:

    "A goal is a dream with a deadline."
     
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