I’m pleased to share a post from my good friend, Liz Tyner, who always has something informative and entertaining to share… plus, she’s a fantastic writer!!
Ten Quotes That Focus My Writing World
The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business. John Steinbeck. When I realized that many authors from the past had day jobs, or were supported by someone else, or had an inheritance, I felt so much better. And when I realize I’ve chosen, in a surprise way, to be a professional gambler of sorts, it helps with the day job.
People ask you for criticism but they only want praise. W. Somerset Maugham. It’s very true, but constructive criticism helps us grow as writers, and I believe the ability to listen and evaluate feedback is important. I still have to work, however, to keep from taking criticism personally.
The first sentence sells your novel, the last sentence sells the next one. Mickey Spillane. Most likely, I will spend the rest of my life hoping for a perfect first sentence and never entirely satisfied with the endings.
Try to leave out the parts that most people tend to skip: Elmore Leonard. Editing is so important.
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. It’s the difference between lightning and lightning bug. Mark Twain When I’m having trouble finding the right word and I care, then I remember it matters.
It’s only a book. Tim Hallinan When I get stuck on trying to find the right word and I give up. It’s only a book and if I don’t finish it, no one will be able to read it, ever. So the other 69,999 words are more important than one I can’t find.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Anne Lamont may have said this about writing, and it’s an old joke, but when I think about my book that isn’t written yet, and know I plan to submit it, and I need a pep talk, this type of quote resonates so that I’ll get busy and write one word at a time.
I don’t like green eggs and ham. Dr. Seuss He wrote a book using only fifty words. And he wrote it about green eggs. It tells me to push myself, challenge myself and if I believe in a topic, then I should write about it.
You can do it. The Waterboy movie For some reason that imprinted in my brain. And when a deadline approaches, sadly I can hear the “You can do it all night long…” but it’s not true.
Royalties. I don’t remember who said it first to me. But it does roll off the tongue and makes the Steinbeck quote a little more palatable.
Beaten and left for dead, Foxworthy falls in love with the vicar’s daughter who saved him, and it’s a perfect relationship until he regains his ability to speak.
Foxworthy wanted to kiss Rebecca, but he could not.
He could not let his face near hers. No woman should be touched by such ugliness. He reached out and rested his fingertips against her cheeks. Then he traced her perfect nose. Even her jawline was perfect.
He’d thought nothing fascinating about her face, but now he looked closer. In her plainness, she had a simple beauty. The wisps of hair framing her face enhanced the softness of her skin. Such a contrast to the rough hands—the work she did made the woman more delicate.
He grasped her shoulders and her eyes opened. She’d taken pity on a beaten man and helped her neighbors with whatever they needed. He could see purity. An unaware angel.
He must kiss her. He must.
“Kissed?” he asked.
She shook her head.
Her head wobbled a no. Eyes begged him.
His right hand rested against her throat. Her pulse hammered. She swallowed.
“Promise?” she asked.
He traced the fullness of her lips and without words made a promise to both of them.
Liz Tyner has had seven books published by Harlequin, a division of Harper Collins. In her spare time, she walks her rural acreage trying to select the perfect tree to place her trail camera.