Writing 101: A Masterclass in 10 Quotes

“Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean ‘More people died’ don’t say “Mortality rose.” ~ C. S. Lewis

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

“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

“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” ~ Roald Dahl

“Don’t say it was delightful; make us say delightful when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, ‘Please will you do the job for me.'” ~ C. S. Lewis

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters. A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit.” ~ Samuel Johnson

“Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.” ~ C. S. Lewis

“Let the reader find that he cannot afford to omit any line of your writing because you have omitted every word that he can spare.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” — Samuel Johnson


And here’s a bonus one:


“Write what you need to read. Write from your heart and. Write truth. Sometimes it hurts to peel away the layers of self-deception and see ourselves in the mirror, but it will also draw us closer to Jesus. And your work may minister to others struggling with the same issues.” ~ Francine Rivers


3 Comments

  1. These are fabulous!
    This is where my critique group is invaluable: “Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.” ~ C. S. Lewis

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