Advice for Writers

Advice For Writers
Assembled by Michael LaRocca

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. —Flannery O’Connor

I write fiction because it’s a way of making statements I can disown, and I write plays because dialogue is the most respectable way of contradicting myself.
—Tom Stoppard

It is always a good idea, in any type of writing, to imagine what it’s like to be the reader. —Carl Dickson

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. —Howard Aiken

An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff. —Adlai Stevenson

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. —T.S. Eliot

It has been said that there is no great writing, only great rewriting. Perhaps that’s why it’s taken me 20 years to write this book. —Michael LaRocca

Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week.
—George Bernard Shaw

It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write. —Sinclair Lewis

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. —Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Easy reading is damn hard writing. —Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. —Sholem Asch

I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters. —Frank Lloyd Wright

I can’t understand why a person will take a year or two to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars. —Fred Allen

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.
—James Michener

Writers have a rare power not given to anyone else; we can bore people long after we are dead. —Sinclair Lewis

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons. —Douglas McArthur