More Stuff From Folks who Know

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Writing/Publishing

Last time was so much fun I managed to find more words of wisdom from folks who tend to know a little something about this writing. Next week…something new. Something really new.

Ever heard of Captain Bubba?

I didn’t think so.

But you will.

Now, on to the wisdom.


I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has just put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or banana split.
–Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

In science there is a dictum: Don’t add an experiment to an experiment. Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated. In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.
–Ben Bova.

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.
–Robert Benchley.

Reading and weeping opens the door to one’s heart, but writing and weeping opens the window to one’s soul.
–M. K. Simmons.

My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it.
–Ernest Hemingway.

One hasn’t become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
–Niyi Osundare.

I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.
–Truman Capote.

If you start with a bang, you won’t end with a whimper.
–T.S. Eliot.

You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won’t be able to take a break from being a writer.
–Stephen Leigh.

It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly.
–C. J. Cherryh.

Never throw up on an editor.
–Ellen Datlow.

Editor: A person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
–Elbert Hubbard.

The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He’s entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.
–Larry Niven.

  1. Thank you, Ellen Datlow

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