Ten Quote Tuesday (#21)

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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.

 

Quotes

“Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” -Elmore Leonard

“I write because I want more than one life; I insist on a wider selection. It’s greed, plain and simple.” -Anne Tyler

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath

“If you want to know your characters better, ask yourself: “How would they behave in a quarrel?” -Barnaby Conrad

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” -Beatrix Potter

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” -Muriel Rukeyser

“Fiction shows the external effects of internal conditions. Be aware of the tension between internal and external movement.” -Raymond Carver

“There is a rule for fantasy writers: the more truth you mix in with a lie, the stronger it gets.” -Diane Duane

“Technique alone is not enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.” -Raymond Chandler

“My idea of a writer: someone interested in everything.” -Susan Sontag

 

Writing Prompts

  • A scene about two people fighting over a cube of paint.
  • A human cage built without a lock.
  • Start your scene with this line: I found life’s instruction manual.

 

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 Matthew Fang via Flickr, Creative Commons.

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41 thoughts on “Ten Quote Tuesday (#21)”

  1. I especially liked the following quote by Muriel Rukeyser: “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” If modern physicists are to be believed, atoms are really just another story we tell ourselves about how the universe works. In fact, the history of science is full of amazing stories, up to and including today’s top theories.

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  2. Exclamation points in books drives me nuts, and I’m even stricter than Elmore Leonard. I believe that you are only allowed exclamation points if someone is screaming about a dangerous situation as in “Lookout!” Even then, one or two to a book, please.

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  3. I really like the one about exclamation points. I’ve been very wary of using them at all since my first book was edited and my editor said, ‘You seem to have a very unhealthy fondness for exclamation marks.’ I haven’t cut them out completely but I use them very sparingly now – and not before I’ve carefully considered whether one is needed at that particular point.
    I also think the one by Beatrix Potter is excellent, and very true.

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  4. My favorite from this batch of quotes is this one: “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath
    I struggle with self doubt regarding all my creative efforts. But I am learning, slowly and painfully, that it doesn’t matter if others like my work, it only matters that I do! Thanks for the continuous encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you! I love Muriel Rukeyser, she is such a gem of a poet! “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” -Muriel Rukeyser
    Grateful for these bits of inspiration.

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  6. The Sylvia Plath quote helped get me out of my funk today. I am revising the manuscript for my second picture book. The revision process is always painful. Self-doubt and second-guessing get the best of me, and I shut down. Thanks for the pick-me-up!

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  7. Hi Ryan! Wish you a very happy new year! A nice post again. I like the following quotes:
    “I write because I want more than one life; I insist on a wider selection. It’s greed, plain and simple.” -Anne Tyler
    “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” -Beatrix Potter
    “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” -Muriel Rukeyser

    I also wrote a post using one of the prompts on my blog here:
    https://dreamingwordz.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/write-your-own-by-sheetal/

    Thanks,
    Sheetal

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the Barnaby Conrad quote! (and the Elmore Leonard one…) We all forget that our characters while not ‘real’ are real enough when you are writing them. How better to know your characters than by putting them in a touch situation that maybe wouldn’t show them in the best light. Are they whiny or a smart ass. Do they punch, kick, bite? Such a great thought to have. And now I feel like I should write a little one shot on someone getting into an argument. Great quotes.

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  9. My favorite quote is this one.

    “Fiction shows the external effects of internal conditions. Be aware of the tension between internal and external movement.” -Raymond Carver

    In a way it sums up the short story I am posting in parts right now.

    James

    Like

  10. “I found life’s instruction manual…” Intriguing. I can’t wait to find out where that is going to lead me. Thanksfor the prompt! I still have one exclamation point left, but I think I’ll donate it to someone who needs one.

    Like

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