Archive for February, 2004

Beckett on failure

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. –Samuel Beckett

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Horace on words

A word once let out of the cage cannot be whistled back again. –Horace

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Chandler on technique

Technique is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder. –Raymond Chandler

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Twain on language

I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop. –Mark Twain

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Kinsella on reading

Read! Read! REad! And then some more. When you find something that thrills you, take it apart paragraph by paragraph, line by line, word by word, to see what made it so wonderful. Then use those tricks the next time you write. –W.P. Kinsella

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London on the writing process

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. –Jack London

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Perkins on process

Just get it down on paper, and then we’ll see what to do about it. –Maxwell Perkins

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Mailer on other writers

I’ve always had a feeling it’s dangerous to be friends with a writer . . . . you can end up talking away your books. –Norman Mailer

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Walker on characters

If you’re silent for along time, people just arrive in your mind. –Alice Walker

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Elkins on characters

I would never write about someone who is not at the end of his rope. –-Stanley Elkin

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