I’ve been teaching an undergrad class at Hamline University this fall on the craft of fiction. Now that everyone has submitted to the workshop process, which can be a grind and gut-wrenching experience, I’ve emailed them a few writing quotes I like hoping to give them some additional pep. I’ve always liked how a good quote can cut straight through the writing fog.
“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” -Stephen King
“A book is a dream you hold in your hand.” -Neil Gaiman.
“A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” -Vladimir Nabokov
“Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” –J. K. Rowling.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov
“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” –Octavia E. Butler
“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” -Ray Bradbury
“The writer is by nature a dreamer— a conscious dreamer.” –Carson McCullers
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” -E. L. Doctorow
“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” -Ernest Hemingway
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”