Advice from the Masters

In some of my meanderings at Read, Write & Brew, I came across a book entitled The Delights of Reading by Otto L. Bettmann.  I brought it home and flip through it on a regular basis.  Now that I am a writer, as well as a reader, I find that Mr. Bettmann includes a section called Advice and Solace from the Masters.  Herewith some of the nuggets of wisdom from the Masters.

If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts. Thomas Carlyle

To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man. Aristotle

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.  Samuel Johnson

The best style is the style you don’t notice.  Somerset Maugham

No book is born entire and uncrippled as it was conceived.  Virginia Woolf

I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts.


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2 Responses to Advice from the Masters

  1. I loved Virginia’ Woolf’s thoughts about writing in A Room of Her Own; there she compared books by Jane Austen & the Bronte’s works, especially Jane Eyre.

    To Woolf, Jane Eyre suffered in comparison to Jane Austen’s works.
    But who wouldn’t suffer next to Jane Austen? I think that Woolf appreciated thought more than the passionate romance.

    But both kind of books have something to offer.

    One of my favorite books is Wuthering Heights. Much as I admire Jane Austen she couldn’t have written that “flawed”book. And none of the Brontes could have written Emma. And what a mess it would have been if they had tried!

    How boring if all authors wrote alike. Instead, with all of their differing thoughts and skills, and the stories they choose to write, they produce riches for readers.

    • author says:

      Linda, I completely agree with you that each individual/author is unique in the way he/she sees the world and therefore, in the way he/she writes about it. The last line of your comment merits my applause!

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