Literary Notes

True West

Building Your Western Library

Leo's Book Recommendations


BEST WRITING ADVICE EVER GIVEN

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.
-Kurt Vonnegut

 

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
-Jack London

 

I became a writer when I stopped writing sentences and started writing stories.
-James Patterson

 

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

—Stephen King

 

Mickey Spillane recommended removing your wallet when you sit down to write. It prevents discomfort.

 

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.
-Ernest Hemingway

 

Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
-Margaret Atwood

 

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

 

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

 

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.
—Elmore Leonard