characters / plot / setting / writers resources / writing

The Road to Hell is Paved With Adverbs

From my fellow Writing Mommies, a few words of good advice:

  • “If you require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–wholeheartedly–and

    Photo credit: Suzannalong

    delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.” –Professor Ralph L. Wahlstrom, The Tao of Writing

  • “Write the book you want to read.” –Chuck Palahniuk
  • “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” –E.L. Doctorow
  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov
  • “Write as you speak.” –Joel Saltzman
  • “I’ve been given a lot of great advice over the years, but the one piece I remember best came years ago from Joe Klein, the wonderful political journalist who wrote “Primary Colors” and now writes for Time magazine. He said to me once, “Never throw away a single line.” In other words, really try to make every single line count. To this day, I think about Joe’s advice every time I write a story.” –Mike Geffner
  • “Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on.” –John Steinbeck
  • The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides right through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”–Maya Angelou
  • “At the risk of sounding persnickety, I think writer’s block is an indulgence. If you’re really going to do this thing, you have to put your butt in the chair and focus, and not expect the muse to fall from the sky and hit you in the head.” –Ellen Meister
  • “Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.”–Joyce Carol Oates
  • “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” –Stephen King
  • “If you don’t allow yourself the possibility of writing something very, very bad, it would be hard to write something very good.”–Steven Galloway
  • “Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. You should hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken.”–C. S. Lewis
  • “The main thing is to take a blank sheet of paper and write the first sentence. From that first sentence springs the second, by some miracle, and then the subject emerges – what the critics call the basic concept or the conception of the work.”–Valentin Katayev
  • “Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.” — Bonnie Friedman
  • “The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.” — John Campbell


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