Sunday, September 15, 2013

Inspiration


While preparing for an upcoming post this week on short story writing for my blog, I came across some quotes from some of our best writers. 

Since I have nothing inspiring to share today,  I thought I would go to the best for inspiration--here's what they have to say
about writing:


We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
--Ernest Hemingway

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.
--Catherine Drinker Bowen

“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.”
—Allegra Goodman

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block, WD

“If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!”
—Fred East, WD

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”
—Leigh Brackett, WD

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”
—Stephen King, WD

“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.”
—Andre Dubus III, WD (this quote is from 
an interview with Dubus in our July/August 2012 issue)

“I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

You do not have to explain every single drop of water contained in a rain barrel. You have to explain one drop—H2O. The reader will get it.”
—George Singleton

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
—Mark Twain





Cora Ramos is author of Dance the Dream Awake
http://coraramos.com./




2 comments:

Sylvia said...

Numbers 1, 3 and 12 are among my absolute favorite quotes! Number 3 probably my most favorite. One of the best five minutes or so of writing is when you type that word. And then comes the second-guessing.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thanks for the reminders of all those wonderful quotes. Beryl