Writer’s Wisdom: O. Henry on Writing a Short Story

I’ll give you the whole secret to short story writing. Here it is. Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule 2. ~ O. Henry

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Writer Ursula K. Le Guin on Dialogue

All I can recommend is to read/speak your dialogue aloud. Not whispering, not muttering, OUT LOUD. (Virginia Woolf used to try out her dialogue in the bathtub, which greatly entertained the cook downstairs.) This will help show you what’s fakey, hokey, bookish — it just won’t read right out loud. Fix it till it does. Speaking it may help you to vary the speech mannerisms to suit the character. And probably will cause you to cut a lot. Good! Many contemporary novels are so dialogue-heavy they seem all quotation marks — disembodied voices yaddering on in a void.  ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

Source: Open Culture

John Gardner’s Fiction Writing Wisdom

In any piece of fiction, the writer’s first job is to convince the reader that the events he recounts really happened, or to persuade the reader that they might have happened or to engage the reader’s interest in the patent absurdity of the lie. ~ John Gardner

John Gardner’s Fiction Writing Wisdom

In any piece of fiction, the writer’s first job is to convince the reader that the events he recounts really happened, or to persuade the reader that they might have happened or to engage the reader’s interest in the patent absurdity of the lie. ~ John Gardner

John Gardner’s Fiction Writing Wisdom

Art has no universal rules because each true artist melts down and reforges all past aesthetic law. The learn to write well, one must begin with a clear understanding that for the artist, if not for the critic, aesthetic law is the enemy. To the great artist, anything whatever is possible.” ~ John Gardner

Ray Bradbury’s Writing Wisdom #28

Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. ~ Ray Bradbury