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Good Advice about Writing

May 25, 2021

“There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.” H. L. Mencken

“Writing is just having a sheet of paper, a pen, and not a shadow of an idea of what you’re going to say.” Francoise Sagan

“The longer I write, the more important I believe it is to write the first draft as fast as possible.” Donald Murray

“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time. The wait is simply too long.” Leonard Bernstein

“A work has form insofar as one part of it leads a reader to anticipate another part, to be gratified by the sequence.” Kenneth Burke

“The most important sentence in a good book is the first one; it will contain the organic seed from which all that follows will grow.” Paul Horgan

“The only skill of a storyteller is their ability to wield the weapon of suspense, making the audience eager to discover the next event in the sequence.” E. M. Forster

“The perfect ending should take the reader slightly by surprise and yet seem exactly right.” William Zinsser.

“You begin with a subject, gather material, and work your way to structure from there.” John McPhee

“Short words are best and the old words are best of all.” Winston Churchill

“Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly. Everything that can be said can be said clearly.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.

“The ability to write clear, crisp sentences that never go beyond twenty words is a considerable achievement.” Joseph M. Williams

“When I write, I read everything out loud to get the right rhythm.” Fran Lebowitz

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” Albert Einstein