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11 Quotes on Writing by C. S. Lewis

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C. S. Lewis on Writing

“Instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.””
“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”
“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
“You can make anything by writing.”
“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.”
“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.”
“Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.””
“If they won't write the kind of books we like to read we shall have to write them ourselves.”
“What you want is practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t matter what we write (at least this is my view) at our age, so long as we write continually as well as we can.”
“I feel that every time I write a page either of prose or of verse, with real effort, even if it’s thrown into the fire the next minute, I am so much further on.”
“The story itself should force its moral upon you. You find out what the moral is by writing the story.”
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