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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Interesting sayings.

   
Author Topic: Interesting sayings.
rstegman
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My thought was to post sayings we thought were interesting.
Preferably, pertaining to writing, but not always.

for a start, is a saying I have in my signature that I use on many boards.

"if you write, you are a writer. If you are not talented, you will not get published as often, or at all" - Orson Scott Card.


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rstegman
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I got this out of a fortune cookie this weekend. I loved it.

GOOD WRITING

IS CLEAR THINKING,

MADE VISIBLE.


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Natej11
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I know it's been used to death, and I can't cite the source, but this:

"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

Edit: I figured I'd better dig up the source, but apparently nobody can agree one. W. C. Fields, Dorothy Parker, Steve Allen, Fred Allen, etc have all used it.

[This message has been edited by Natej11 (edited July 22, 2009).]


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Heidi
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I framed this one. It's hanging over my computer desk.

"All good novelists have bad memories."--Graham Green

I am still trying to figure out what it means.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
"All good novelists have bad memories."--Graham Green

Maybe it means that good novelists aren't married to "what really happened" but are able to allow themselves to adjust what they "remember" so that it makes a better story.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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As for "interesting sayings," I memorized this a LONG time ago:

quote:
If you didn't think you could, I don't know why you did, because those who never try might not do any good in the first place.

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Robert Nowall
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"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

I got it from a Marx Brothers movie first...and I've freely adapted it in a couple of arguments over the years. (Generally without accreditation.)


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Grijalva
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"The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time." -George Bernard Shaw
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rich
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"It seemed like a good idea at the time."
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Collin
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I heard this somewhere, but I can't quite place the source. Anyways here it is.....

"Keep your expectations low and all of your surprises will be pleasant ones"

I don't necessarily agree with this, but I thought it was an interesting way of looking at things.


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Natej11
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"People who blame others for their problems make my life miserable."
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dee_boncci
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I'm not sure of the original source of this:

There's no use in being a moron if you can't show it off.


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Ben Trovato
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"Moths are attracted to the flame of personality. So are vampires. Artists should take note and beware."--Lawrence Durrell, one of the Alexandria Tetralogy.

(If an in-universe writer said it, does it count?)


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alliedfive
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I think someone on this forum made me aware of this Groucho Marx quote. I'm laughing as I type...

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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My father-in-law, who is a retired physiology professor, pointed out that one of the rules of biology also works in sociology:

"Success always attracts parasites."


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InarticulateBabbler
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I've posted THAT Groucho Marx quote a few times. Another good Groucho one is:

"Either this man's dead, or my watch has stopped."

One of my all-time favorites is the "code of honor" David Gemmell gave to all of his warriors:

"Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal.
These things are for lesser men.
Protect the weak against the evil strong.
And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil.
Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender.
It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found."

And, as I've posted before:

"Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance." - Plato

"Plato was a bore." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal." - Leo Tolstoy

"I'm not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy." - Ernest Hemingway

"Hemingway was a jerk." - Harold Robbins

(Cracks me up every time.)

Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason! - Anonymous

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes." - Alexander Dumas, in The Count of Monte Cristo.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert A. Heinlein <--This seems a brilliant piece of advice on characterization.


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rstegman
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There, of course, is the question.

Are you a human being,

or a human doing?


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Robert Nowall
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I think the speaker of my quote was Chico, not Groucho...it certainly wasn't Harpo.

*****

How about: "Anybody seeing a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined." (attributed to Samuel Goldwyn.)


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snapper
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I loved a bunch of these quotes.

This ones works for my writing

I'm trying to think but nothings happening

Curly Howard


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Goldwyn is also supposed to have said, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union." (Or somesuch--anyway, it applies to any kind of storytelling.)
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Meredith
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I got this one today out of The Week:

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. -- Truman Capote


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rstegman
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When asked what he wrote today
Truman Capote said he wrote one word
It was the RIGHT WORD.

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Cheyne
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I don't know where this gem originated, but it is good advice.

-Never use a big word when a diminuitive one would suffice.


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MAP
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quote:
Never use a big word when a diminuitive one would suffice.

Am I the only one who finds this statement ironic.

diminuitive means small

suffice-do

Shouldn't the saying be, Never use a big word when a small one would do.


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BenM
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Well, that's the point - the statement is self-proving.

Kind of like another one I saw somewhere:

Eschew obfuscation.


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Robert Nowall
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Samuel Goldwyn said the one that would be on his tombstone would be "Include me out."
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philocinemas
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quote:
Shouldn't the saying be, Never use a big word when a small one would do.


MAP - ironic sarcasm


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MAP
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quote:
Well, that's the point - the statement is self-proving.

quote:
MAP - ironic sarcasm

Okay, I know I was an idiot. I get it. Next time I will try to think before a post.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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It's always good when people think before they post, no matter what the topic is.

Another instance of advice by bad example:

"Being so awkward in sentences, I never use dangling participles."


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Just saw this on a blog:

"Most bicycle accidents are caused by the nut that attaches the handlebars to the seat."


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jayazman
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Ha! Good one.

That's like the IT telephone support saying..
"Hmm... sounds like you have an ID10T error..."

Only one person ever 'got it' while I was on the phone with them. Fortunately they thought it was funny...


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Robert Nowall
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How 'bout "All your base belong to us." Remember when that was all over the place?
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Natej11
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Look up "all your base are belong to us" on youtube. Best song ever. Some of those quasi-English lines are pure awesomeness.

"For great justice, take off every Zig!"


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NoTimeToThink
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"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" - (don't know who)

"Imagination is more powerful than knowledge." - Albert Einstein


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Andrew_McGown
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"tow don't shell"-- e.j.stone.
.
.
.
.
.
..

[This message has been edited by Andrew_McGown (edited July 30, 2009).]


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Andrew_McGown
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why write 'policeman' when I get paid just as much for 'cop'.

mark twain


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rstegman
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I cannot attribute this.

"How long should a piece of writing be?

"Long enough to tell the story."


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rstegman
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I heard that someone tried that Monkeys-on-typwriter bit, trying for the plays of W. Shakespeare, but all they got was the collected works of Francis Bacon. - Bill Hirst.
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Robert Nowall
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From some rock trivia book whose title escapes me: "The more radical a cause, the more likely a celebrity is devoted to it. Do you know anybody who's for world hunger?"
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Antinomy
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Made this one up.................

You can judge your own character by how you handle a stop sign when no one else is in sight.


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