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More Writers’ Wednesday Aphorisms

More Writers’ Wednesday Aphorisms

Image showing Hemingway quote cited in body copy

(With thanks to Jay Artale for sugaring the pill of Hemingway’s terse words with a beautiful graphic!)

For this Writers’ Wednesday, we have a second helping of ALLi members’ favourite wise words about writing to inspire indie authors to aim high and achieve their self-publishing goals.

On Quality

“The first draft of anything is shit!” –  Ernest Hemingway

“This quote reminds me not to expect perfection out of the gate,” says Jay Artale.

“Before you can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, first you need a sow’s ear.” – David Michael Kaplan

“This comes from Kaplan’s book Revision, my editing bible,” says Catriona Troth.

Keith Dixon’s favourite piece of advice on craftsmanship. It’s from Sol Stein, and it’s about getting the sequence right in your prose. So for example, instead of writing, “He looked for the picture, having entered the room quickly, and found it behind the desk,” you would write “He entered the room quickly, looked for the picture and found it behind the desk.” So the prose follows the sequence of actions. “It might seem a minor point, but it gives prose a directness and rapidity and easy-to-followness,” advises Keith, “even when you can’t think of the right word to end a sentence.

 On Story

Robert T Balder says: “My favorite author, the late Roger Zelazny, told me in person the one time I got to meet him, “tell a good story, and all is forgiven”.

Alison Ripley-Cubitt’s choice is:

“The king died and the queen died is a story. The king died and the queen died of grief is a plot.” – E M Forster

One of many memorable quotes that Cindy Rinaman Marsh gleaned from reading The Habit of Being is:

“The meaning of a story should go on expanding for the reader the more he thinks about it, but meaning cannot be captured in an interpretation.” – Flannery O’Connor

On Creativity

Shweta Aggarwal has two favourite sayings on motivation and inspiration:

“Dream small. Dream big. But no matter what you do, don’t put a dream to sleep.”

“Don’t just think outside the box. Think as though there IS no box!”

Last word to Dan Holloway, who says “the following quote isn’t strictly about writing, but given that writers should first be readers, it is actually about writing”:

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.'” – Haruki Murakami

OVER TO YOU What are you favourite aphorisms about writing? Feel free to share them in the comments box!

For #WritersWednesday a selection of favourite quotes about #writing chosen by our author members Click To Tweet

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Debbie Young

Debbie Young writes warm, funny feel-good fiction, including the Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series, which begins with the bestselling "Best Murder in Show". As ALLi's Author Advice Center Manager, she also writes guidebooks for authors. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, she is a frequent speaker at other literary events. Find out more about Debbie's writing life on her author website www.authordebbieyoung.com.

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