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Writing quotes

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.


Gonzo journalism is a style of reporting based on William Faulkner's idea that the best fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism -- and the best journalists have always known this. True gonzo reporting needs the talents of a master journalist, the eye of an artist photographer and the heavy balls of an actor. Because the writer must be a participant in the scene, while he's writing it -- or at least taping it, or even sketching it. Or all three. Probably the closest analogy to the ideal would be a film director producer who writes his own scripts, does his own camera work and somehow manages to film himself in action, as the protagonist or at least a main character.

- Thompson, Hunter S.

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.

- Mark Twain

The only way out is the way through, just as you cannot escape from death except by dying. Being unable to write, you must examine in writing this being unable, which becomes for the present -- henceforth? -- the subject to which you are condemned.

- Nemerov, Howard

There is nothing to write about, you say. Well then, write and let me know just this - that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That's right. I am quite well.

- Pliny the Younger

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say'infinitely'when you mean'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

- C. S. Lewis

He was one of those men who think that the world can be saved by writing a pamphlet.

- Benjamin Disraeli

I have never thought of writing as hard work, but I have worked hard to find a voice.

- Randy Pausch

As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.

- Pasternak, Boris

That everybody is allowed to learn to read spoileth in the long run not only writing but thinking.

- Friedrich Nietzsche

She was discovering once again that reading and writing were not the same-you couldn't just soak it up then squeeze it out again.

- David Nicholls

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

- Elvis Costello

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence. The sound must seem an echo to the sense.

- Pope, Alexander

When all things are equal, translucence in writing is more effective than transparency, just as glow is more revealing than glare.

- Thurber, James

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Good sense is both the first principal and the parent source of good writing.

- Horace

Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.

- Marquis, Don

The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.

- Richard Harding Davis

NOSE, n. The extreme outpost of the face. From the circumstance that great conquerors have great noses, Getius, whose writings antedate the age of humor, calls the nose the organ of quell. It has been observed that one's nose is never so happy as when thrust into the affairs of others, from which some physiologists have drawn the inference that the nose is devoid of the sense of smell. There's a man with a Nose, And wherever he goes The people run from him and shout: "No cotton have we For our ears if so be He blow that interminous snout!" So the lawyers applied For injunction. "Denied," Said the Judge: "the defendant prefixion, Whate'er it portend, Appears to transcend The bounds of this court's jurisdiction." Arpad Singiny

- Ambrose Bierce

Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.

- Zinsser, William

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