I think of this quote often when I'm editing my work. Rusty Ryan on conning someone, which is a lot like writing fiction: "Don't use seven words when four will do."
I've quoted Elmore Leonard on this blog before. He passed away this morning, so I thought I'd post another of my favorite things he had to say about the art of writing. Elmore Leonard on writing: "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
W. Somerset Maugham on writing: "There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
Chuck Palahniuk on writing: "It seems that so much writing is being done in the nineteenth-century model, where every connection has to be thoroughly explained. But in minimalism you just put one detail next to another detail and you allow the reader to decide what the relationship is."
Ray Bradbury on writing: "My stories run up and bite me in the leg -- I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off."
John Steinbeck on writing: "Over the years I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances." Read the rest of this outstanding letter about the craft of writing at LettersofNote.com.
Ernest Hemingway on writing: "For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can."