Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil – but there is no way around them.
– Isaac Asimov
In science there is a dictum: don’t add an experiment to an experiment. Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated. In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.
– Ben Bova
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
My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
– Anton Chekhov
Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.
Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it…
– Michael Crichton
Nothing, not love, not greed, not passion or hatred, is stronger than a writer’s need to change another writer’s copy.
– Arthur Evans
Don’t be dismayed by the opinions of editors, or critics. They are only the traffic cops of the arts.
– Gene Fowler
Easy writing makes hard reading.
– Ernest Hemingway
The literary world is made up of little confederacies, each looking upon its own members as the lights of the universe; and considering all others as mere transient meteors, doomed to soon fall and be forgotten, while its own luminaries are to shine steadily into immortality.
– Washington Irving
There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one can agree what they are.
– Somerset Maugham
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
– Terry Pratchett
The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.
– Mary Heaton Vorse