1. Stephen King
I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
2. Ernest Hemingway
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
3. Mark Twain
Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
4. David Brin
If you have other things in your life-family, friends, good productive day work-these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
5. Somerset Maugham
If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
6. C. J. Cherryh
It is perfectly okay to write garbage-as long as you edit brilliantly.
7. Robert Benchley
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
8. Ray Bradbury
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
9. Sidney Sheldon
A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
10. Truman Capote
Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.
11. Henry David Thoreau
Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.
12. Anton Chekhov
My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
13. Edgar Rice Burroughs
I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
14. Willa Cather
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
15. Anne Lamott
In general… there’s no point in writing hopeless novels. We all know we’re going to die; what’s important is the kind of men and women we are in the face of this.
16. Douglas Adams
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
17. Ayn Rand
Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.
18. Jean-Paul Sartre
Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait.
19. Joseph Conrad
A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer.
20. Philip K. Dick
Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything.
21. Russell Baker
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.
22. John Irving
Half my life is an act of revision.
23. Ralph Waldo Emerson
People do not deserve to have good writing, they are so pleased with bad.
24. Erica Jong
I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.
25. Barbara Kingsolver
Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
26. Emily Dickinson
A word is dead When it is said, Some say. I say it just begins to live that day.
27. E. L. Doctorow
Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
28. William Faulkner
Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
29. Gustave Flaubert
I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
30. Robert Graves
There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.
31 Isaac Asimov
It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.
32. William Faulkner
The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.
33. F. Scott Fitzgerald
Begin with an individual, and before you know it you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find you have created – nothing.
34. Henry Miller
Writing is its own reward.
35. Ursula K. Le Guin
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
36. A. A. Milne
Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.
37. Emily Dickinson
A wounded deer leaps the highest.
38. Joseph Conrad
Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
39. Anthony Burgess
Literature is all, or mostly, about sex.
40. Joan Didion
Writers are always selling somebody out.
41. Alice Munro
Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
42. Larry Niven
You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.
43. Flannery O’Connor
Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
44. Dorothy Parker
I can’t write five words but that I change seven.
45. Terry Pratchett
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
46. Robert A. Heinlein
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
47. E. B. White
No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.
48. Oscar Wilde
A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
49. Isaac Asimov
Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil-but there is no way around them.
50. Nancy Kress
Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.
51. Ray Bradbury
First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
52. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.
53. Anne McCaffrey
Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.
54. Ursula K. Le Guin
If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic.
55. Herman Melville
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
56. Elmore Leonard
All the information you need can be given in dialogue.
57. Orson Scott Card
Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
58. Somerset Maugham
All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary-it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
59. Jane Yolen
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
60. Edgar Rice Burroughs
If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
61. Ernest Hemingway
It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.