Writing advice (good and bad) from Flavorwire

Flavorwire is one of those annoying listicle-based sites.  But it does have some good pieces about books and writing.  Here is a list of quotations from writers about revising your work. The pithiest (and most vivid) is from Raymond Chandler:

Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.

Most of the writers (except Nick Hornby) are big on cutting stuff out.  This doesn’t always work for me, because I tend to underwrite my first drafts.  But your mileage may vary.

And here is a list of what the author considers bad writing advice from famous authors. This one seems like a bit of a stretch.  Many of the quotes are obviously exaggerations to make a point (for example, Richard Ford’s “Don’t have children”).  And the author seems to misunderstand a couple of them.  For example, she doesn’t like this famous quote from George Orwell:

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

Her comment: “Never use anything you’ve seen before? That seems like a tall order.” But as a commenter points out, that’s not what Orwell said — he’s talking about figures of speech you’re used to seeing.  Big difference.

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