Jane Austen On Writing
"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
"I begin already to weigh my words and sentences more than I did, and I am looking about for a sentiment, and illustration or a metaphor in every corner of the room. Could my ideas flow as fast as the rain in the store closet it would be charming."
"I do not write for such dull elves; As have not a great deal or ingenuity themselves."
"An artist cannot do anything slovenly.">>
Nathanial Hawthorne On Writing
"Easy reading is damn hard writing."
"Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them."
"Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness."
"The devil himself gets in my inkstand.">>
Mark Twain On Writing
"Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use."
"You need not expect to get your book right the first time. Go to work and revamp or rewrite it. God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by."
"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph."
"Let us guess that whenever we read a sentence & like it, we unconsciously store it away in our
model-chamber; & it goes, with the myriad of its fellows, to the building, brick by brick, of the
eventual edifice which we call our style."
"I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice."
"We write frankly and fearlessly but then we "modify" before we print." >>