2 Quotes, Stephen King

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

 “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” 
― both quotes from
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 I agree wholeheartedly that when you’re in your first rough draft, keep the door closed, i.e., don’t let others see it until it’s had time to “cook” on the page.

 But after that first draft, it’s time to get tough-skinned and be willing to allow another trusted writer or editor to go over your writing and help you tighten it, with a keen eye for what to keep in and what to throw out.  This is what separates amateurs from seasoned writers.

 Remember, every story you’ve ever read since you were six years old had the input of an editor intermingled with the author’s words throughout.

 Writing is Rewriting.  Hemingway was write … I mean, right.

5 Quotes on Writing

“The only kind of writing is rewriting.”          ~  Ernest Hemingway

“Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.”   ~ Victor Hugo

“Kill your darlings.”       ~ William Faulkner

(i.e., be willing to cut or delete even your fav lines for the overall good of the writing.  Not easy, but often it’s the answer.

“Describe, don’t label.”  ~ Val Serrano.   This derives from the old famous quote “Show, don’t tell.”  But how to show becomes the question?  And describe is the answer.

Basic example:  She has pretty hair. (label=pretty) vs.  Her long, dark brown hair made her look like a shampoo ad model.  (Not my best writing, but you get the idea).  Here, the fictional character is describing the girl’s hair as he sees it, which also slightly characterizes him.

“The secret of being tiresome is to tell everything.”          ~ Voltaire

Great quote on the concept of knowing what to leave out being as important as knowing what to include in your story.