Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Top 20 Inspirational Quotes from Best Selling Authors

I am in the midst of participating in Savvy Authors Entangled Smack-down. The challenge - write 50,000 words in the month of November.  Each day, we're to share motivational quotes with our fellow participants. 


Through my research for quotes, I stumbled across this Writer's Digest blog published on November 29, 2011, titled: The 90 Top Secrets of Best Selling Authors.  

As I read the quotes, I realized I was reading the short ones and skimming the long ones. Thus, if I'm ever asked to give a quote about writing, I'll keep my quote short so others will read what I have to say.
 Here are my top 20 taken from Writer's Digest's Top 90. 


INSPIRATION & IDEAS

  • “Every idea is my last. I feel sure of it. So, I try to do the best with each as it comes and that’s where my responsibility ends. But I just don’t wait for ideas. I look for them. Constantly. And if I don’t use the ideas that I find, they’re going to quit showing up.”
—Peg Bracken

  • “My advice is not to wait to be struck by an idea. If you’re a writer, you sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. That’s the way to get an idea.”
—Andy Rooney
  • “As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. … This is our life and it’s not going to last forever. There isn’t time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.”
—Natalie Goldberg



GETTING STARTED

  • “Two questions form the foundation of all novels: ‘What if?’ and ‘What next?’ (A third question, ‘What now?’, is one the author asks himself every 10 minutes or so; but it’s more a cry than a question.) Every novel begins with the speculative question, What if ‘X’ happened? That’s how you start.”
—Tom Clancy
  • “An outline is crucial. It saves so much time. When you write suspense, you have to know where you’re going because you have to drop little hints along the way. With the outline, I always know where the story is going. So before I ever write, I prepare an outline of 40 or 50 pages.”
—John Grisham
  • “Don’t quit. It’s very easy to quit during the first 10 years. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.”
—Andre Dubus


STYLE & CRAFT

  • “What a writer has to do is write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done.”
—Ernest Hemingway
  • “You should really stay true to your own style. When I first started writing, everybody said to me, ‘Your style just isn’t right because you don’t use the really flowery language that romances have.’ My romances—compared to what’s out there—are very strange, very odd, very different. And I think that’s one of the reasons they’re selling.”
—Jude Deveraux


PURPOSE

  • “You need that pride in yourself, as well as a sense, when you are sitting on Page 297 of a book, that the book is going to be read, that somebody is going to care. You can’t ever be sure about that, but you need the sense that it’s important, that it’s not typing; it’s writing.”
—Roger Kahn

  • “I’ve always had complete confidence in myself. When I was nothing, I had complete confidence. There were 10 guys in my writing class at Williams College who could write better than I. They didn’t have what I have, which is guts. I was dedicated to writing, and nothing could stop me.”
—John Toland


CHARACTERS

  • “A genuine creation should have character as well as be one; should have central heating, so to say, as well as exterior lighting.”
—James Hilton

  • “When you are dealing with the blackest side of the human soul, you have to have someone who has performed heroically to balance that out. You have to have a hero.”
—Ann Rule


PLOT & STRUCTURE


  • “There is no finer form of fiction than the mystery. It has structure, a story line and a sense of place and pace. It is the one genre where the reader and the writer are pitted against each other. Readers don’t want to guess the ending, but they don’t want to be so baffled that it annoys them. … The research you do is crucial. In mystery fiction, you have to tell the truth. You can’t fool the reader and expect to get away with it.”
—Sue Grafton
  • “I make a very tight outline of everything I write before I write it. … By writing an outline you really are writing in a way, because you’re creating the structure of what you’re going to do. Once I really know what I’m going to write, I don’t find the actual writing takes all that long.”
—Tom Wolfe

  • “Transitions are critically important. I want the reader to turn the page without thinking she’s turning the page. It must flow seamlessly.”
—Janet Evanovich




RITUALS & METHODS

  • “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King

  • “I’ll tell you a thing that will shock you. It will certainly shock the readers of Writer’s Digest. What I often do nowadays when I have to, say, describe a room, is to take a page of a dictionary, any page at all, and see if with the words suggested by that one page in the dictionary I can build up a room, build up a scene. … I even did it in a novel I wrote called MF. There’s a description of a hotel vestibule whose properties are derived from Page 167 in R.J. Wilkinson’s Malay-English Dictionary. Nobody has noticed. … As most things in life are arbitrary anyway, you’re not doing anything naughty, you’re really normally doing what nature does, you’re just making an entity out of the elements. I do recommend it to young writers.”
—Anthony Burgess


REVISION & EDITING

  • “I’m a tremendous rewriter; I never think anything is good enough. I’m always rephrasing jokes, changing lines, and then I hate everything. The Girl Most Likely To was rewritten seven times, and the first time I saw it I literally went out and threw up! How’s that for liking yourself?”
—Joan Rivers


PUBLISHING

  • “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” 
—Harper Lee

  • “The most important thing is you can’t write what you wouldn’t read for pleasure. It’s a mistake to analyze the market thinking you can write whatever is hot. You can’t say you’re going to write romance when you don’t even like it. You need to write what you would read if you expect anybody else to read it.
  • And you have to be driven. You have to have the three D’s: drive, discipline and desire. If you’re missing any one of those three, you can have all the talent in the world, but it’s going to be really hard to get anything done.”
—Nora Roberts
  • “If you can teach people something, you’ve won half the battle. They want to keep on reading.”
—Dick Francis




READERS


  • “The critics can make fun of Barbara Cartland. I was quite amused by the critic who once called me ‘an animated meringue.’ But they can’t get away from the fact that I know what women want—and that’s to be flung across a man’s saddle, or into the long grass by a loving husband.”
—Barbara Cartland

  • “You better make them care about what you think. It had better be quirky or perverse or thoughtful enough so that you hit some chord in them. Otherwise it doesn’t work. I mean we’ve all read pieces where we thought, ‘Oh, who gives a damn.’ ”
—Nora Ephron

TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE.  OR - GIVE ME AN ORIGINAL QUOTE  TO SHARE.


If you'd like to read the original post: WD 90 Top Secrets of Best Selling Authors


8 comments:

  1. What a great post. I love quotes by writers (and prefer shorter ones too!) Good luck with your Entangled smack-down!

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  2. I really enjoy the quotes. Some of informative, others I can relate to. Considering everything on my agenda, I have a tendency to read the shorter once and scan the longer ones. If they're really long... that's another story.

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  3. I enjoy quotes and share them as well. Most are the shorter ones though. Thanks for sharing your collection. :)

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  4. I've never been very good at writing. I guess I don't think of myself as being very creative..

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  5. Love the quotes and thank you for sharing the tip about "reading" shorter versus longer quotes. That certainly helps us to consider our own writing style...we do want others to read it for sure.

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  6. Shorter is better for quotes especially in this fast paced world.

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  7. Interesting quotes! Short quotes that are direct to the point are great to read. What’s your most favorite quote?

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