Quotes from Mark Twain Regarding Your Writing in Particular
I’m sure these will help.
Mark Twain is an American writer famous mostly for his mustache. However, in addition to possessing one the bushiest and most luxurious strips of hair to ever grow above a top lip, he also wrote things. Some of these things were books. Others came in the form of quotes about writing that lots of writers like to share, but not apply. These quotes include:
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Medium, can we get some cross out functionality on the platform? It might make this writing thing easier.
“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
This is great advice, but very hard to do.
“If you’re not eating a pickle sandwich while you’re writing, then there’s no way your writing will be worth reading. Pickle juice stimulates the brain better than whisky, though whisky is also vitally important to the creative process, especially when accompanied by a twist of lemon. Waiter, bring me a drink!”
I might have made that last one up. But it has a certain Mark Twaineque je ne sais quoi, doesn’t it? If he wasn’t slamming pickle sandwiches nonstop while writing The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County then I’m a hatbox full of kippers.
As you can tell, these quotes are great and very, oops, damn helpful.
But, did you know Mark Twain actually constructed a few extra-special quotes about your writing in particular? “How did he do this?” you might ask, “When he died in 1910 in a house in Redding, Connecticut, while Halley’s comet passed overhead, wearing his best suspenders with a slice of mango clenched between his teeth? I wasn’t even born in 1910! How could he know anything about my writing?”
Well, something something, time travel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, something, something.
I’m sure that answers all your questions.
You’re probably dying to know what he said, right? Here are the quotes Mark Twain made that are meant for you and only you and no other writer in the world.
“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”
You can see by this quote that Mark Twain knows all about the old lady you are torturing in your writing.
“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”
He wants you to cut the scene where the swan bites the riverboat captain on the ass, because it gives him uncomfortable flashbacks.
“I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.”
Here Mark Twain is telling you to stop writing about women.
“When you use the word “whatevskies” in your writing, it makes me want to slap you across the face with a yellow-bellied kingsnake.”
He felt this was the most important tip of all and wanted me to make very, oops, damn certain I relayed it to you. Mark Twain wants you to stop using the word “whatevskies” in your writing. Take that as you will.
Hopefully this was helpful! It’s not every day one of America’s most mustachioed writers takes time out of his busy death to drop a few words of wisdom on your doorstep. So, enjoy.
And happy writing!
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