- I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. – Stephen King
- It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. – Ernest Hemingway
- If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter how you write. – Somerset Maugham
- It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. – C. J. Cherryh
- 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. – Ray Bradbury
- 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. – David Brin
- Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. – Willa Cather
- Half my life is an act of revision. – John Irving
- People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it. – Harlan Ellison
- 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
- 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
- Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. – William Faulkner
- It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition. – Isaac Asimov
- Writing is its own reward. – Henry Miller
- Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences. – Anne McCaffrey
- All the information you need can be given in dialogue. – Elmore Leonard
- 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. – Orson Scott Card
- 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. – Somerset Maugham
- 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. – Jane Yolen
- If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. – Martin Luther
Jonathan Carroll once said, “I find you write with one person in mind. Usually for me that one person is my wife, because she’s my most severe critic and understands best what I’m trying to do.” I guess the one person I write for is my mother-in-law, who has encouraged me from day one. She’s a huge Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts fan and keeps telling me I’m going to be the next Nora Roberts. I just laugh at her and think she’s crazy. But she believes in me. So when I write, I think about her.
I have two inspirational quotes I like. One is writing related. One is not. The first is from my favorite poem by Robert Frost, The Road Less Traveled.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.
My life has been full of less traveled roads. Each road I’ve taken, although full of rocks and potholes, has been well worth the journey.
The second quote is from Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Diaz. I kind of live by this quote, simply because it defines who I am as a writer. Even if book sales aren’t going well, writing goals aren’t panning out, I receive a crappy review, or I’m just flat out having a sucky day, this quote inspires me to remember why I write, and I push forward.
Post originated from Ethos 3.
A little inspiration via Nicholas Rossis
This is a guest post by Lucy Adams of BuzzEssay, who prepared this fine infographic. Storytelling Quotes from Great Writers Books are much more than just means of communication. They are sources of…