“The author makes a tacit deal with the reader. You hand them a backpack. You ask them to place certain things in it — to remember, to keep in mind — as they make their way up the hill. If you hand them a yellow Volkswagen and they have to haul this to the top of the mountain — to the end of the story — and they find that this Volkswagen has nothing whatsoever to do with your story, you're going to have a very irritated reader on your hands.”

— Frank Conroy

 

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

— Jack London

"Writing is my search engine, it is the medium through which I try to make sense out of life."

Mark Salzman

“I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate.”

— Jack London

"Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream."

Mark Twain

"I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die."

— Isaac Asimov

"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

"The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it."

— Benjamin Disraeli

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean."

— Robert Louis Stevenson

"Remember, your story is an uneasy bargain with your reader. Your end of the bargain is to play fair, and keep him interested, his end of the bargain is to keep reading. It is just terribly terribly easy to put a story down half-read and go off and do something else."

Shirley Jackson

"I think if the writing comes too easily, it shows - it's usually hard to read."

— Tracy Kidder

Wordcrafts' Quotes

Player Piano

"Grammar is a piano I play by ear, since I seem to have been out of school the year the rules were mentioned. All I know about grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed. Many people know about camera angles now, but not so many know about sentences. The arrangement of the words matters, and the arrangement you want can be found in the picture in your mind. The picture dictates the arrangement. The picture dictates whether this will be a sentence with or without clauses, a sentence that ends hard or a dying-fall sentence, long or short, active or passive. The picture tells you how to arrange the words and the arrangement of the words tells you, or tells me, what’s going on in the picture. Nota bene.

It tells you.
You don’t tell it."

— Joan Didion

Funny Girl

"“What doesn't kill us makes us funnier.”

Marian Keyes

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