The Death of the Author

We know that to give writing its future, it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.

Roland Barthes

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Know the ending in advance, before you begin writing

Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before any thing be attempted with the pen. Once writing commences, the author must keep the ending constantly in view in order to give a plot its indispensable air of consequence and inevitability.

Edgar Allan Poe

Six Rules for Writers

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday [English] equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

George Orwell

 

  1. Learn the rules.
  2. Learn the craft.
  3. Break the rules and develop your own style.

The Right Word

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself. Anybody can have ideas; the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.

Mark Twain

If it is your destiny…

If it is your destiny to be this labourer called a writer, you know that you’ve got to go to work every day. But you also know that you’re not going to get it every day. You’ve got to be prepared, but you don’t really command the enterprise.

Leonard Cohen

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