Good Writing Quotes

Good Writing Quotes by Michael Pena, Louis D. Brandeis, Donald Spoto, Gilbert K. Chesterton, Carrie Coon, Charles Caleb Colton and many others.

I wouldn’t say I have comedy chops. I guess you get lucky with good writing because I don’t think I’m a comedian by any stretch of the imagination.
There is no good writing; there is only good rewriting.
Avoid theatrical flourishes – the phrases that sound so damned good that they stand up and beg to be recognized as “good writing,” and therefore must be struck from the text.
Donald Spoto
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
What’s great about good writing is that it feels like life, so it’s not hard to relate to her circumstances.
Perhaps that is nearly the perfection of good writing which is original, but whose truth alone prevents the reader from suspecting that it is so; and which effects that for knowledge which the lens effects for the sunbeam, when it condenses its brightness in order to increase its force.
The studios don’t seem to foster good writing. They’re not so interested in that, but they’re more interested in what worked most recently. They’re definitely very serious about making money, and that’s not a wrong thing, but you don’t have to make money the same way all the time.
Good writing is full of surprises and novelties, moving in a direction you don’t expect.
I used to be opposed to collaboration, and that’s probably why the music in the past wasn’t as good. Writing with other people, especially the great writers that I’ve had the privilege to write with, it activates something in your mind that you wouldn’t use alone.
If the project has good writing and is something I get excited about, then I’ll do the role. And if it’s for TV, I’ll ask myself, ‘Is it a show that I’d watch?’ If it’s a play or movie, I’ll want to know if there’s a good director attached.
Good writing , like gold , combines lustrous lucidity with high density. What this means is good writing is packed with hints.
I had the most incredible English and literature teachers in school, and it really influenced my love of storytelling. It’s what made me excited to study journalism in college. I love editorials and documentaries. All of that came from being given the opportunity to lose myself in good writing when I was a kid.
Medicine has an immediate impact, the ability to do good. Writing is such a solitary activity.
I’m more interested in the writing than in the content per se (good writing can be about wallpaper and I’ll devour it).
To me there is no such thing as creative writing. It’s either good writing, whatever the subject, or it’s not creative.
As an actor you get categorized by other people, but it’s not like I arrange myself into comedy mode or serious mode. If it’s good writing you just have to play it true – if it’s funny, it’s funny. But obviously you don’t want it to be amusing if you’re playing Hedda Gabler!
My focus is films, and ‘Angela‘s Eyes‘ is one of those TV projects that has some good TV concepts behind it and good writing.
In good writing, the contemplative and the exciting happen at the same time.
Beauty and truth may be attributes of good writing, but if the writer deliberately aims at truth, he is likely to find that what he has hit is the didactic.
The secret of good writing is telling the truth.
Gordon Lish
Rewrite and revise. Do not be afraid to seize what you have and cut it to ribbons … Good writing means good revising.
The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.
As an actor, I go where the good writing is. That’s the bottom line.
My only close-to-game-plan is to follow good writing. If the writing is in TV or if it’s in theater or in film, that’s it. It doesn’t really matter what the medium is.
Good writing is almost the concomitant of good history. Literature and history were joined long since by the powers which shaped the human brain; we cannot put them asunder.
Ready writing makes not good writing, but good writing brings on ready writing.
No blur of inexactness, no cloud of vagueness, is allowable in good writing; from the first seeing to the last putting down, there must be steady lucidity and uncompromise of purpose.
All I’ve tried to do as an actor is follow the good writing. That’s been my main drive. It’s not always possible, so when you do come upon it, like when I came upon this, you realize pretty quickly this is something you need to be involved with.
I am baffled by good writing.
To present a whole world that doesn’t exist and make it seem real, we have to more or less pretend we’re polymaths. That’s just the act of all good writing.
Most good writing is clear, vigorous, honest, alive, sensuous, appropriate, unsentimental, rhythmic, without pretension, fresh, metaphorical, evocative in sound, economical, authoritative, surprising, memorable, and light.
Ken Macrorie
Good writing is about finding and exploiting anecdotes that resonate with the reader. In storytelling, it’s OK if you only make one point, as long as it’s a good one.
I wish you good writing and good luck. Even if you’ve already done the good writing, you’ll still need the good luck. It’s a shark-filled lagoon out there. Cross your fingers and watch your back.
Good writing is like a bomb: it explodes in the face of the reader.
Nuruddin Farah
Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
Because good writing in a TV cartoon is so rare, I think the animation on The Simpsons is often overlooked.
I guess it’s a bit clicheМЃ, but as an actor, I really admire good writing. There are a lot of great ideas out there, but it’s the execution that really makes it work.
There is more good writing and good acting in any ten minutes of Twister than in, say, all of Citizen Kane.
Part of what makes for good writing is an ear for what we would call the poetical. Poetry itself is another thing and it seems to me to be the most difficult writing – that those people are the best writers and they lead the way for everyone else and their writing is frighteningly great.
The only good writing is intuitive writing. It would be a big bore if you knew where it was going. It has to be exciting, instantaneous and it has to be a surprise. Then it all comes blurting out and it’s beautiful. I’ve had a sign by my typewriter for 25 years now which reads, ‘DON’T THINK!’
If the communication is perfect, the words have life, and that is all there is to good writing, putting down on the paper words which dance and weep and make love and fight and kiss and perform miracles.
the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat
The thing about good writing is it has a music to it.
There’s a sureness to good writing even when what’s being written about doesn’t make all that much sense. It’s the sureness of the so-called seat of an accomplished horseback rider or a sailor coming about in a strong wind. The words have both muscle and grace, familiarity and surprise.
Good writing shouldn’t be wrapped in cellophane. It should be open to the elements and full of maggots and it should be left to grow and deepen and fester.
I believe good writing can save bad art.
The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets its literature decay, and lets good writing meet with contempt, than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.
I love a mask. It’s why I’ve got a thing about good writing. When you’re acting, you’re going into someone else’s work. You’re behind his words; it’s not you.
Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.
The secret of all good writing is sound judgment.
Good writing is about telling the truth.
Writing is not about making a buck, not about publishers and agents. Writing is not about feeling good. Writing is about pain, suffering, hard work, risk, and fear.
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
If you have other things in your life-family, friends, good productive day work-these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
I don’t think you get to good writing unless you expose yourself and your feelings. Deep songs don’t come from the surface; they come from the deep down. The poetry and the songs that you are suppose to write, I believe are in your heart.
Hypertext makes a virtue out of lack of organization, allowing ideas and thoughts to be juxtaposed at will. […] The advent of hypertext is apt to make writing much more difficult, not easier. Good writing, that is.
As an actor, my main focus is finding good writing and attacking a good role.
Good writing must stay open to the questions and not fall prey to the pull of a polemic, otherwise, words simply become predictable, sentimental, and stale.
Good writing and dark wit always excite me and they come together thrillingly in this book. It has a quiet grip on the strangeness of the interior and exterior worlds of love and politics. I delighted in the writing and the scope.
A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.
All good writing comes out of aloneness.
Good writing … involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear.
Disorganizatio n is the enemy of good writing.
If we marvel at the artist who has written a great book, we must marvel more at those people whose lives are works of art and who don’t even know it, who wouldn’t believe it if they were told. However hard work good writing may be, it is easier than good living.
Through an arbitrary problem, I had arrived at a tenet of good writing: brevity wins.
The chief difference between good writing and better writing may be measured by the number of imperceptible hesitations the reader experiences as he goes along.
The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.
I think that’s one of the maybe under-discussed aspects of process – the difference between a good writing day and a bad one is the quality of the split-second decisions you made.
Of course, the fact that Dostoevsky can tell a juicy story isn’t enough to make him great. If it were, Judith Krantz and John Grisham would be great fiction writers, and by any but the most commercial standards they’re not even very good.
I don’t think I will ever write about politics or foreign policy. I feel like there is so much good writing in those areas that I have little to add. I also like to steer clear of writing about people whom I do not personally like.
I always tell my writing students that every good piece of writing begins with both a mystery and a love story. And that every single sentence must be a poem. And that economy is the key to all good writing. And that every character has to have a secret.
Good writing does not come from verbiage but from words.
Good writing can be defined as having something to say and saying it well. When one has nothing to say, one should remain silent. Silence is always beautiful at such times.
Read. Read. Read. Read many genres. Read good writing. Read bad writing and figure out the difference. Learn the craft of writing.
I’ve grown more and more appreciative of good writing, and I now really hope I can become a better and better writer.
Writing can come naturally to some. Still, when it comes to good writing, this is true: Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Good writing is the hardest form of thinking.
Good writing is good writing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t orchestrate it or tweak it.
The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.
My writing improved the more I wrote – and the more I read good writing, from Shakespeare on down.
My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.
You just can’t make bad writing look good. But if you have good writing, you just say it, and it’s almost done.
There is a lot of catarsis that passes itself off as art or comedy and I’m kind of critical of that. I think that just because you bare your soul or underwear or private moments it doesn’t , or necessarily make for entertainment, or good writing, or funny writing.
When you have good writing, the rhythm of the scene is very apparent. What the scene demands is very clear.
There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.
Writing, or at least good writing, is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people. And that’s true whether you’re reading Shakespeare or bad vampire fiction-reading is always an act of empathy. It’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.
I’m curious about writing in the age of online publishing. Because nobody cares about good writing online.
Good writing is always new.
I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.
Love is the main generator of all good writing… Love, passion, compassion, are all welded together.
I suppose with any good writing and interesting characters, you can have that awfully overused word […] – a jouuuuuurney.
Bad writing is not easier than good writing. It’s just as hard to make a toilet seat as it is a castle window. Only the view is different.
I suppose with any good writing and interesting characters, you can have that awfully overused word: a journey.
My preference is for really good writing, and I just really don’t care where it is.
As an actor, you are in a unique position because you’re not only memorizing dialogue but really embodying it. You naturally feel the rhythm of good writing.
When you have really good writing, you’re compelled by the actors who are in it, and you may think it’s the actors or the design or the filmmaking of it, but then you’re like, ‘Well, the base is a really rich story that these guys have created.’
Good writing of course requires talent, and no one can teach you to have talent.
Good writing is really meaningful, and it’s one of the – it’s still one of the best tools we have to get and capture people’s attention.
I don’t think you get to good writing unless you expose yourself and your feelings.
Good writing is like a windowpane.
Good writers hate bad writing but hating bad writing doesn’t make you good. Writing badly does.
The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis.
Good writing will bring you to places you don’t even expect sometimes.
I’m not happy that death is approaching because I like being alive but I’m glad I’ve escaped the two-post-a-day economy of contemporary journalism. Good writing takes time.
The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components.
Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.
Good writing isn’t a science. It’s an art, and the horizon is infinite. You can always get better.
There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths as exist do not lead through neat critical gardens, various as they are, but through the jungles of self, the world, and of craft.
Suspense arises naturally from good writing – it’s not a spice to be added separately.
Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.
I think the thing that has made it possible for me to write personal songs and sing them year after year is the sensibility for good writing. Just opening your veins all over the paper is not necessarily going to be interesting. I wanted to speak to people.
I think the benefit of being a writer is that I’m looking for the subtext on the page, because all good writing has subtext. And as a writer, you look at the big scope of things, the big story, rather than just your individual story line, because I think it’s important to know what you’re in and how you fit into it.
Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.
You do an awful lot of bad writing in order to do any good writing. Incredibly bad. I think it would be very interesting to make a collection of some of the worst writing by good writers.
The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.
Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.
Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a scream pierced the air‘. . . . Good writing takes enormous concentration.
Good writing is rewriting.
Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
I want to keep doing different things. I’d like to do a more personal, dramatic movie next, I think. But as long as it’s about characters and good writing and good parts for actors, that’s what’s important
I just keep following the good writing. I’m not good enough to make bad writing look good. Some people can, and I admire them for it, but I cannot. I will go down with the ship.
Good writing is good conversation, only more so.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
I have a very healthy appetite for good writing and good characters. Having weak writing is my biggest fear.
Somehow, some way, incredibly enough, good writing ultimately gets recognized. If you’re a really good writer and deserve that honored position, then by God, you’ll write, and you’ll be read.
Good writing is lean and confident.
Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind – -vividly, forcefully.
There’s such good writing now on television and I don’t see a lot of great writing on films sadly.
If a man means his writing seriously, he must mean to write well. But how can he write well until he learns to see what he has written badly. His progress toward good writing and his recognition of bad writing are bound to unfold at something like the same rate.
It may be observed of good writing, as of good blood, that it is much easier to say what it is composed of than to compose it.
I get the ideas from everything. Children sometimes think you have to have special experiences to write, but good writing brings out what’s special in ordinary things.
Sometime really good writing does you a disservice as an actor. Because you can get lazy. It’s doing a lot of the work for you. I guess that’s good. But at the same time with material that’s not so good, you have to be more inventive, because no thought has been applied to it.
Well, I’ve always been a character actor, you know, and you always get your share of character actors who are bad guys. So it never surprises me. And if it’s good writing, you can find your way into the part well enough.
Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.
You have to go where the good writing is.
You can have good writing, but a great actor will make it feel and sound like great writing. You can have great writing, and mediocre actors will make it feel mediocre. Without the actors, you have nothing.
I think the computer is a hindrance to good writing because it is so tempting to leave what you’ve written. If you use a typewriter, you must retype if you make a mistake, and thus, you must re-examine every word.
When you recognize good writing and you’re lucky enough to get it, like with Lost, that’s what I follow.
ClichГ©s are what good writing is all about. Because our lives are basically clichГ©s.
Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.
I never read prefaces, and it is not much good writing things just for people to skip. I wonder other authors have never thought of this.
I’m very driven by writing. Coming from ‘Saturday Night Live,’ because it’s such a writing job, and we all write our parts on the show and create characters, I’m so respectful of good writing.
Don’t hedge your prose with little timidities. Good writing is lean and confident. . . . Every little qualifier whittles away some fraction of the reader’s trust. Readers want a writer who believes in himself and in what he is saying. Don’t diminish that belief. Don’t be kind of bold. Be bold.
Good writing is good writing, and I’m so happy when I read it.
When you’ve got good writing, you can kind of give up all the research, in a way, and start just following the emotional integrity of the journey of your character.
Mainly I love working on good writing.
I would say that I am proud of my performance from Cracker and I think a lot of that was due to the writing was just so good. It’s so rare that you get such good writing these days but it was awhile ago.
The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.
Good writing is difficult no matter what the reader’s age-and children deserve the best.
There’s a perception that good writing is writing which runs smoothly. But smooth-running prose can work against what you’re trying to express in a novel.
Aaron Shepard
Good writing gives energy, whatever it is about.
The writer trusts nothing she writes-it should be too reckless and alive for that, it should be beautiful and menacing and slightly out of control. . . . Good writing . . . explodes in the reader’s face. Whenever the writer writes, it’s always three or four or five o’clock in the morning in her head.
Good writing comes from good talent.
Nobody sounds good writing about your divorce, let’s face it.
And the writers are good in that it’s easy to memorize, and good writing has an innate rhythm to it. And I’ve always felt that it’s easier to get in your head than writing that has very kind of mind busting moments.
The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from.
The point of good writing is knowing when to stop.
There’s not a conspiracy to prevent really good writing from being found You have to have the humility to fail over and over and over.
There are many rules of good writing, but the best way to find them is to be a good reader.
Write for yourself, not for a perceived audience. If you do, you’ll mostly fall flat on your face, because it’s impossible to judge what people want. And you have to read. That’s how you learn what is good writing and what is bad. Then the main thing is application. It’s hard work.
It goes without saying that a good Catholic novel should be good craftsmanship, good writing skills. The creative person must always be engaged in the long labor of perfecting the tools of his art. Yet the work itself need not be explicitly evangelical in its themes and plots.
I started writing while I was a little boy. Maybe it’s because I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday. Also, my love for good writing pushed me.
I just hope that readers and publishers continue to appreciate good writing and good storytelling in all their various forms. And I hope that people continue to read books, even though we have so many other options for entertainment.
Screenwriting is always about what people say or do, whereas good writing is about a thought process or an abstract image or an internal monologue, none of which works on screen.
Write about what you know and care deeply about. When one puts one’s self on paper – that is what is called good writing.
All good writing is built one good line at a time. You build a novel the same way you do a pyramid. One word, one stone at a time, underneath a full moon while the fingers bleed.
There’s exceptional work being done on television. Some of our great writers are writing for television. When you have things to choose from, you typically go after the writing – unless you’re going after the money. There are fewer opportunities in film to make money with good writing, unless you’re an action hero.
Like with anything, good writing suggest itself pretty strongly.
In an age of malice and bad faith on many sides, I reread White or Thurber or Mitchell and am reminded again that good writing is done, as I said in my elegy for Salinger, with an active eye and ear and an ardent heart, and in no other way.
Good directing is good writing and good casting.
Knowledge is the foundation and source of good writing.
[Lat., Scibendi recte sapere est et principium et fons.]
Writing stopped being fun when I discovered the difference between good writing and bad and, even more terrifying, the difference between it and true art. And after that, the whip came down.
I am a stickler for damn good writing.
Brendan O’Meara’s Six Weeks in Saratoga is a victory to be savored by those who treasure good writing in general and tales of the track in particular. Horses may win races, but they also win hearts as this impressive book proves beyond doubt. A memorable, sure-footed debut.
Really good writing, from my perspective, runs a lot like a visual on the screen. You need to create that kind of detail and have credibility with the reader, so the reader knows that you were really there, that you really experienced it, that you know the details. That comes out of seeing.
Madeleine Blais
Wherein we discover that many of the “rules” for good writing and good sex are the same: Keep your hand moving, lose control, and don’t think.
All I want is a modest place in Mr X’s Good Reading, Miss Y’s Good Writing, and that new edition of One Thousand Best Bits of Recent Prose.
Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
There are so many burning issues to be dealt with that it’s completely understandable and natural that a character is struggling with these issues themselves. In that struggle, you inform the audience. The thing about this writing is that it’s very easy to learn. Good writing always is.
An essential element for good writing is a good ear: One must listen to the sound of one’s own prose.
Good writing is a kind of skating which carries off the performer where he would not go, and is only right admirable when to all its beauty and speed a subserviency to the will, like that of walking, is added.