Great Rules of Writing

We writers try to follow many rules when writing. Some are easy to follow, others take a little bit of reminding every now and then.  Here are a few quotes I enjoy, especially when the process itself tends to bring me down.  When I can sit back and laugh at myself, knowing I'm not the only writer who's been frustrated or had to go back and revise my story over and over, my creative spark is re-ignited once again.


Great Rules of Writing

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire



Writing & Editing

Every writer I know has trouble writing.  ~Joseph Heller

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.  ~Arthur Polotnik

If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop.  If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness.  ~Carrie Latet

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer.  But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.  ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.  One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.  ~George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947


And lastly, my favorite, by Steve Martin --

"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper."


What are some quotes or sayings that inspire you to keep going?


5 comments:

Dorraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorraine said...

A collection of good sentences resembles a string of pearls.

Chinese Proverb

coffeelvnmom said...

Oooh Dorraine I like that one!

A Wrinkled Time said...

Seems as though we have a few addictions in common...writing, coffee and the internet! Ha!

Johanna said...

Ooooh...I am loving your blog! Fabulous quotes (I'm a sucker for a good quote!) The Steve Martin one really hits home after all no one can judge us as writers because it is an amazing accomplishment to make SOMETHING out of NOTHING! Thanks!