August 25, 2009

Revising and Editing Part 3: Fun Quotes from the Masters

Great advice on editing your novel (more or less) from people who know what they're talking about:

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

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. ~Mark Twain

The personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. ~Mark Twain

An author should
... Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it
... Use the right word, not its second cousin.
~Mark Twain

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Substitute “d***” 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

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. ~Ray Bradbury

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. ~Ray Bradbury

Vigorous writing is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.


Parts 1 and 2 on Revising and Editing have more practical resources, if you're interested.

1 comment:

aaronaskew said...

Haha, I love Mark Twain's quotes. Especially the one about replacing 'very' with 'damn' lol. He has a great sense of humor.

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