Ten Quote Tuesday (#20)



Welcome to another installment of Ten Quote Tuesday! If your creative juices have trouble flowing today, then read these quotes and writing prompts to nudge awake the sleeping muse. If there is a particular quote you enjoyed, let us all know with your comments below.

Check out last week’s episode here.



“In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard.” -Russell Baker

“I have so little control over the act of writing that it’s all I can do to remain conscious.” -David Rakoff

“I don’t think it’s possible to write a good novel around a negative personality.” -Alberto Moravia

“Say what you mean. Say what you see. Make a photograph, if you can, for the reader.” -Stephen King

“A good style should show no sign of effort. What is written should seem to be a happy accident.” -Somerset Maugham

“When I am writing, my problems become invisible, and I’m the same person I always was.” -Roger Ebert

“If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.” -Billy Wilder

“The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense, whereas reality never makes sense.” -Aldous Huxley

“If the poem can be improved by the author’s explanations, it never should have been published.” -Archibald MacLeish

“Don’t be clever, be clear.” -Howard Ogden



Writing Prompts

  • Write a scene where the president of a particular country is immortal.
  • Include these elements into a scene: a laser pointer, a teddy bear, pride, and jumping.
  • Start a scene with this line: It had been at least a minute since he last blinked.


Be sure to stop by the Writer’s Toolbox for free, useful tools that no author should go without. If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing via email to have future ones delivered to you. Image courtesy of William Cho via Flickr, Creative Commons.


26 thoughts on “Ten Quote Tuesday (#20)”

  1. I’m impressed that you’ve managed to find 200 quotes on writing that are all so good. I love Russell Baker’s quote; I find punctuation to be so useful in making sure the reader understands something as you meant to say it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the quote about not being able to write a good novel about a negative person. It’s something everyone has to deal with it at least once in his/her life. It’s part of life. I couldn’t write a good thing about a negative person as well. So it’s kind of a true quote if you’ll ask me.


  3. Some gems in here today. I especially like “The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense, whereas reality never makes sense.” I’m trying to write a novel based on my family history. As I approach the conclusion, I am really struggling to make sense of the reality. Maybe I should just go with it and stop trying to rationalise it for the sake of fiction


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