1. If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. - Edgar Rice Burroughs
2. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.
– Truman Capote
3. 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. - Orson Scott Card
4. When men ask me how I know so much about men, they get a simple answer: everything I know about men, I learned from me.
– Anton Chekhov
5. It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly. - C. J. Cherryh
6. Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.
7. Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it... - Michael Crichton
8. Never throw up on an editor.
– Ellen Datlow
9. Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences. - Anne McCaffrey
10. The task of a writer consists in being able to make something out of an idea.
– Thomas Mann
11. All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary - it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences. - W. Somerset Maugham
12. The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He’s entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.
– Larry Niven
13. Fantasy doesn't have to be fantastic. American writers in particular find this much harder to grasp. You need to have your feet on the ground as much as your head in the clouds. The cute dragon that sits on your shoulder also craps all down your back, but this makes it more interesting because it gives it an added dimension. - Terry Pratchett
14. The main question to a novel is – did it amuse? were you surprised at dinner coming so soon? did you mistake eleven for ten? were you too late to dress? and did you sit up beyond the usual hour? If a novel produces these effects, it is good; if it does not – story, language, love, scandal itself cannot save it. It is only meant to please; and it must do that or it does nothing.
– Sydney Smith
15. There is no idea so stupid or hackneyed that a sufficiently talented writer can't get a good story out of it. - Lawrence Watt-Evans
16. There is no idea so brilliant or original that a sufficiently-untalented writer can’t screw it up.
17. It is my contention that a really great novel is made with a knife and not a pen. A novelist must have the intestinal fortitude to cut out even the most brilliant passage so long as it doesn't advance the story. - Frank Yerby
18. If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
– W. Somerset Maugham