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16 Quotes on Writing by Truman Capote

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Truman Capote on Writing

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.”
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
“You can't blame a writer for what the characters say.”
“Good writing is rewriting.”
“When seriously explored, the short story seems to me the most difficult and disciplining form of prose writing extant. Whatever control and technique I may have I owe entirely to my training in this medium.”
“I always felt that nobody was going to understand me, going to understand what I felt about things. I guess that's why I started writing. At least on paper I could put down what I thought.”
“I think the only person a writer has an obligation to is himself. If what I write doesn't fulfill something in me, if I don't honestly feel it's the best I can do, then I'm miserable.”
“It's a very excruciating life facing that blank piece of paper every day and having to reach up somewhere into the clouds and bring something down out of them.”
“It takes a lot of bad writing to get to a little good writing.”
“Never demean yourself by talking back to a critic, never. Write those letters to the editor in your head, but don't put them on paper.”
“Writing in the first person automatically gives you a point of view.”
“I also write the last paragraph or page of a story first. That way I always know what I'm working towards.”
“When I'm writing, I never write more than four hours a day.”
“When I am writing, I try to do it five hours a day but I spend about two of those just fooling around.”
“That's all a writer has to write about - what he sees and hears and what not.”
“Technically I feel total fluidity in writing. I feel there's nothing technically that I can't do the way a certain sort of pianist feels that. But that doesn't mean it comes easily. It doesn't.”
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