S. 34: On the other hand, if you`re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike arount it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far.
S. 37: Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognisze them when they show up.
S.57. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story. Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open
S. 122: and those using the far more odious phrases „at this point in time“ and „at the end of the day“ should be sent to bed without supper (or writing-paper, for that matter).
The subject is letting it happen. You should avoid the passive tense.
S. 127: I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. If one is writing for one’s own pleasure, that fear may be mild – timidity is the word I’ve used here. – The best form of dialogue attribution is said, as in he said, she said, Bill said, Monica said.
S. 131: On paragraphs: Topic-sentence-followed-by-support-and description insists that the writer organize his thoughts,..
S. 145: If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
S.154: The biggest aid to regular production is working in a serene atmosphere. … The space can be humble, and it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut.
S. 157: Your schedule – in at about the same time every day, out when your thousend words are on paper or disk
S. 159: What’s equally wrong is the deliberate turning toward some genre or type of fiction in order to make money.
S. 161: Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationship, sex and work. Especially work. People love to read about work.
S. 162: He told the truth of what he knew, and for that if nothing else, he deserves every buck The Firm made.
S. 162: In my view, stories and novels consist of three parts: narration, which moves the story from point A to point B and finally to point Z; description, which creates a sensory reality for the reader; and dialogue, which brings characters to life through their speech. I want you to understand that my basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves.
S. 164: Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice. – I want to put a group of characters (perhaps a pair; perhaps even just one) in some sort of predicament and then watch them try to work themselves free.
S. 169 The most intesting situations can usually be expressed as a What-if question
S. 170: Please remember, however, that there is a huge difference between story and plot.
S. 173: Honesty in storytelling makes up for a great many stylistic fault. If you begin to lie about what you know and feel while your’re down there, everything falls down.
S. 175: For me, good description usually consists of a few wellchosen details that will stand for everything else. – Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot secceed unless you read a lot and write a lot. (The first ones that come to my mind) – Well-crafted dialogue will indicat if a character is smart or dumb.
S. 190. I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the even.