Murder Your Child—I Mean, Rewrite and Edit

“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

 

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Plot People

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”

— Leigh Brackett

 

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Writer’s Diet for Success

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”

—Julie Gorges

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Mysterious Alchemy of Writers

“Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.”

—Leslie Gordon Barnard

 

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Tear Up…or Tear Up

“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”

— Lawrence Block, WD

 

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Writer’s Highest Aspiration

“I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”

— Richard Ben Cramer

 

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Right Write Word

“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”

— Catherine Drinker Bowen

 

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Editor Blues

“Authors…<insert crying emoticon>.”

— The editor

 

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Write It Large

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

—Virginia Woolf

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Writing Sickness

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

— George Orwell

 

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