for writers and readers….

Dr Johnson on editing – quotes for writers (and people who like quotes)

Dr Samuel JohnsonFrom The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Miss Adams: “Do you think, Sir, you could make your Ramblers better?”
Johnson: “Certainly I could.”
Boswell: “I’ll lay a bet, Sir, you cannot.”
Johnson: “But I will, Sir, if I choose. I shall make the best of them you shall pick out, better.”
Boswell: “But you may add to them. I will not allow of that.”
Johnson: “Nay, Sir, there are three ways of making them better; –putting out –adding –or correcting.”

photo credit: dolldalera via photopin cc

2 comments on “Dr Johnson on editing – quotes for writers (and people who like quotes)

  1. Carol Balawyder
    May 12, 2014

    Wonderful advice on editing…The trick is knowing what to put out, what to add and well, most needs correcting (in my case). 🙂

    • bridget whelan
      May 12, 2014

      Ah, that’s the trick we all need to learn (and keep on learning)! I like the way the great Doctor gives equal emphasis to every aspect of editing – sometimes new writers think it’s all about cutting when adding is usually just as important.l..

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This entry was posted on May 11, 2014 by in Quotes and tagged , , .


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