Writing Lessons – Words of Wisdom

I have been collecting quotes from famous – and not so famous – authors over the years and thought I might share some with you.

STEPHEN KING – ‘See everything before you write it’

WILLIAM SAFFIRE – ‘Verbs have to agree with their subjects.’

GEORGE ORWELL – ‘Never use the passive when you can use the active.’

ELMORE LEONARD  – ‘Never use a verb other than said to carry dialogue.’

AND  ‘Never use the word suddenly.’

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

ELIZABETH BOWEN – ‘Nothing happens nowhere.’  The failure to establish a sense of where or when the story takes place can leave readers bred or confused or both.


Take from these what you will.

I have to say that Leonard’s  quote of never using the word suddenly is one to take on board. It certainly improved my novel when I took it out of a sentence where I had used it.




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