Writers on Style



“The greatest thing in style is to have command of metaphor.”    –Aristotle


“Art, it seems to me, should simplify–finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole–so that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader’s consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.”–Willa Cather



“The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.  It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off.”–Raymond Chandler


“I thought I was clever enough to write as well as these people, and I didn’t realize that there is something called originality and your own voice.”–Amy Tan 


“Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.  That is the only secret of style.”                         –Matthew Arnold





“I won’t be another’s mouthpiece–I will say just what I think.  I fear no man.”–Zitkala-Sa




“To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard.  Become a saint of your own province and consciousness.”–Allen Ginsberg


Writing plays is a way of working out your life. That’s why I can never conceive of stopping, because I would stop the investigation of who I am and what I am.—Neil Simon

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