Quotes on Writing

" A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book." - Ernest Hemingway

"The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life — and one is as good as the other." - Ernest Hemingway

"If a writer … knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows…. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water." - Ernest Hemingway

"It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way." - Ernest Hemingway

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~ Mark Twain

“I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.” - P.G.Wodehouse

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth


The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

"A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?"

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946

"In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning."


- George Orwell

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink."

- George Orwell

Writers Biographies
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