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Engrave this Quote Let your literary compositions be kept from the public eye for nine years.
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-Horace
Engrave this Quote On occasions, after drinking a pint of beer at luncheon, there would be a flow into my mind with sudden and unaccountable emotion, sometimes a line or two of verse, sometimes a whole stanza, accompanied, not preceded by a vague notion of the poem which they were destined to form a part of.... I say bubble up because, so far as I could make out, the source of the suggestions thus proffered to the brain was the pit of the stomach.
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-A.E. Housman
Engrave this Quote The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness.
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-Julia Ward Howe
Engrave this Quote Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.
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-Elbert Hubbard
Engrave this Quote I did not believe political directives could be successfully applied to creative writing . . . not to poetry or fiction, which to be valid had to express as truthfully as possible the individual emotions and reactions of the writer.
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-Langston Hughes
Engrave this Quote All that non-fiction can do is answer questions. It's fiction's business to ask them.
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-Richard Hughes
Engrave this Quote A writer and nothing else; a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.
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-John K. Hutchens
Engrave this Quote It's with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
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-Aldous Huxley
Engrave this Quote Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.
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-John Irving
Interview in Writers at Work (Eighth Series, ed. by George Plimpton, 1988).
Engrave this Quote I am always at a loss at how much to believe of my own stories.
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-Washington Irving
Engrave this Quote In art economy is always beauty.
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-Henry James
Engrave this Quote The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.
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-Henry James
Engrave this Quote The time-honored bread-sauce of the happy ending.
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-Henry James
Engrave this Quote He is outside of everything, and alien everywhere. He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.
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-Henry James
Engrave this Quote I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme.
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-Henry James
Engrave this Quote There is an old-fashioned distinction between the novel of character and the novel of incident, which must have cost many a smile to the intending romancer who was keen about his work. It appears to me as little to the point as the equally celebrated distinction between the novel and the romance- to answer as little to any reality. There are bad novels and good novels, as there are bad pictures and good pictures; but that is the only distinction in which I see any meaning, and I can as little imagine speaking of a novel of character as I can imagine speaking of a picture of character. When one says picture, one says of character, when one says novel, one says of incident, and the terms may be transposed. What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character? What is a picture or a novel that is not of character? What else do we seek in it and find in it?
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-Henry James
essay The Art of Fiction published in Longman's Magazine
Engrave this Quote ...There are bad novels and good novels, as there are bad pictures and good pictures; but that is the only distinction in which I see any meaning... When one says picture, one says of character, when one says novel, one says of incident, and the terms may be transposed. What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?... It is an incident for a woman to stand up with her hand resting on a table and look out at you in a certain way; or if it be not an incident, I think it will be hard to say what it is. At the same time it is an expression of character. If you say you don't see it (character in that
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-Henry James
The Art of Fiction, 1884
Engrave this Quote Footnotes -- little dogs yapping at the heels of the text
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-William James
Engrave this Quote Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
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-Samuel Johnson
Engrave this Quote Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.
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-Samuel Johnson
Engrave this Quote I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much.
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-Samuel Johnson
Engrave this Quote In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.
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-Samuel Johnson
Engrave this Quote 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.
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-Samuel Johnson
Engrave this Quote Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
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-Samuel Johnson
Lives of the Poets
Engrave this Quote Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader.
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-Joseph Joubert

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