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

We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings. … Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.

-John Updike

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.

-Gore Vidal

To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.

-William Zinsser

Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.

-Stephen King

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.

-Virginia Woolf

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Albert Einstein.

-H. Jackson Brown

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

-Ernest Hemingway

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

-George Orwell