Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.

-Leslie Gordon Barnard

One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.

-Lawrence Block

The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.

-Eudora Welty

I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.

-Tom Clancy

Style is to forget all styles.

-Jules Renard

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.

-Doris Lessing

Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.

-Allegra Goodman

Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.

-Larry L. King

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.

-Elmore Leonard

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