Perhaps no poet is a conscious plagiarist, but there seems to be warrant for suspecting that there is no poet who is not at one time or another an unconscious one.
To string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way, and seem innocently unaware that they are absurdities, is the basis of the American art, if my position is correct.
When an honest writer discovers an imposition it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence.
When I want to read something nice, I sit down and write it myself.
Writing is the easiest thing in the world.... Just try it sometime. I sit up with a pipe in my mouth and a board on my knees and I scribble away.
I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.
There ain't nothing more to write about and I'm rotten glad of it, because if I'd know'd what trouble it was to make a book, I wouldn't a tackled it.
In writing, I shall always confine myself strictly to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.
If I'd seen a playwright ever write an' play at the same time, I'd have given 'em more of a chance at cards. Can I get an 'amen?'
A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can
If ever you've been down in the dumps, hear these iconic authors share with you more than their writing wisdom.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.
I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig he
there was no crime in unconscious plagiarism; that I committed it everyday, that he committed it everyday, that every man alive on earth who writes or speaks commits it every day and not merely once or twice but every time he open his mouthâ€¦ there is nothing of our own in it except some slight cha
I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.
Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if
As to the adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.
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
The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.
Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.
Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.
When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them--then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart.