No Self-Doubt—Best

“As a writer, you have to believe you’re one of the best writers in the world. To sit down every day at the typewriter filled with self-doubt is not a good idea.”

— Jo Nesbo

 

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Manuscript [preparation] Guidelines

The Chicago Manual of Style on manuscript preparation:

Publishers’ manuscript-prepartion guidelines. Many publishers have specific requirements or preferences regarding choice of software and typeface, as well as formats for submitting illustrations and tables along with your manuscript. These should be followed to the letter. Consistency and simplicity in all matters is essential: authors should know that their manuscripts will almost always be converted into another software environment for publication and that, therefore, the consistency and accuracy of the content (i.e., the words themselves) are more important than the style of presentation. A simple presentation is always preferable to an elaborately formatted manuscript. Authors who want a more explicit idea of what publishers look for in the format and structure of a manuscript would do well to consider the steps in a manuscript editor’s typical cleanup routine (see 2.77).”

The University of Chicago Press‘s 16th edition, The Chicago Manual of Style, is an excellent resource for writers of all kinds. You can find it here.

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Reason Your Arsenal

“Reason is a fine thing, but it is not the only thing available to a writer. It’s just part of the arsenal of many things available to a storyteller. Revelation, for example.”

— Mark Helprin

 

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Truth Waiting

“Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there.”

— Don DeLillo

 

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Successful Fowl

“The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from.”

— Gene Fowler

 

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Advice to a Writer

“I never know how to give advice to a writer because there’s so much you could say, and it’s hard to translate your own experience. But of course, I always try. The main thing that I usually end up saying is to read a lot. To read a great deal and to learn from that.”

— Sue Monk Kidd

 

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Journalistic Investigations

“Every time I’ve had to do journalistic investigations, I’ve cursed, but later I discovered that it had helped me enormously with writing fiction. It’s the one thing that can save me from becoming an academic writer.”

— Italo Calvino

 

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Quality of Speaking

“The quality of what is said inevitably influences the way in which it is said, however inexperienced the writer.”

— Robertson Davies

 

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What Works For You

“Most important of all, there is no right or wrong way to write – there’s only what works for you. I was taught to write every day, but I know a writer (a bestseller at that!) who only writes on weekends.”

— Tamora Pierce

 

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Remember It, Not Forget

“The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.”

— Thomas Wolfe

 

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