OK friends, let’s wander through the literary supermarket one last time and pick out a few tidbits to keep us motivated (or make us want to trade in the keyboard for a collection of Smurf jelly glasses).

When you send off a short story, it sits on the editor’s desk in the same pile with stories by the most famous and honored names in present-day writing — and it’s not going to be accepted unless it’s as good as theirs. (And it’ll probably have to be better.)
–Daniel Quinn.

As for the adjective, when in doubt leave it out.
Mark Twain.

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.
E. L. Doctorow.

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
Somerset Maugham.

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. 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.
Barbara Kingsolver.

Short stories can be rather stark and bare unless you put in the right details. Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.
V. S. Pritchett.

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
–Christopher Hampton.

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.
E. B. White.

When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into: “House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1,500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.”
Neil Gaiman.

The historian records, but the novelist creates.
E. M. Forster.

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
–Thomas Jefferson.

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
Clarence Budington Kelland.

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
Herman Melville.

If the sex scene doesn’t make you want to do it — whatever it is they’re doing — it hasn’t been written right.
–Sloan Wilson.

Make (the reader) think the evil, make him think it for himself, and you are released from weak specifications.
Henry James.

The task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea.
Thomas Mann.

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
Terry Pratchett.

The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book.
–Mickey Spillane.

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
–Stephen Wright (comedian).


And remember: Wednesday is Captain Bubba day. Who is the Captain? What drives him? What is his connection with Big Louie? What will he do with that leftover burrito from Casa de Gas? Tune in Wednesday for the answer to these or some other questions!


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