Share 11 Breathtaking Quotes in Literature That Will Inspire Your Writing

11 Breathtaking Quotes in Literature That Will Inspire Your Writing

Tolani Osan is a Marketing Associate at Simon & Schuster.  A daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tolani enjoys literary fiction about the tensions between cultures and classes. Her favorite book is Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” which she’s made a pact with herself to revisit every three years. She also founded and runs her own blog, TolanisLifeLessons.com. You can enjoy her musings about pop culture, fashion, and literature on Twitter @TolaniHerself.  

Ever read a book and pause on a piece of writing that’s so breathtaking or powerful or truthful you just have to reread it, underline it, flag it, and share it with everyone you know? I have this experience every time I’m reading. In fact, I often kick myself for forgetting to keep a pen handy for that moment I surely stumble upon some sound advice or captivating prose. If you’re like me and forget to underline those lovable quotes (or hate to mark up your current read), I’ve recorded some quotes that will absolutely blow you away and make you think—or perhaps even inspire your new novel! In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month (and because we can’t resist a gorgeous piece of literature), here are some quotes that exhibit what our favorite authors do best.


On Writing
by Stephen King

“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”

Read the full review of ON WRITING.

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On Writing
Stephen King

“Nothing I have ever read about the writing life has moved or inspired me more. Whether or not you are a King fan, whether you are a professional writer or have never written a word, this is essential reading on the art of writing and the art of life.”

Read the full review here.

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I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying
by Bassey Ikpi

“Your mouth is too full of regrets to age properly. But the forehead holds spots and wrinkles and let us not forget the constellation of marks and freckles that circle the eyes. They are beauty marks now; in five years, they will be moles. There will be whispers of removal, they will say, “possibly cancerous,” you will get to keep them. You are proud of the way the night loved you so much it offered you stars for your face.”

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I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying
Bassey Ikpi

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11 Breathtaking Quotes in Literature That Will Inspire Your Writing

By Tolani Osan | November 15, 2019

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Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

“We girls. Afraid of the wrong things, at the wrong times. Afraid of a burned face, when outside, outside waiting for you are fires you cannot imagine. Men, holding matches up to your gasoline eyes. Flames, flames all around you, licking at your just-born breasts, your just-bled body. And infernos. Infernos as wide as the world. Waiting to impoverish you, make you ash, and even the wind, even the wind. Even the wind, my dear, she thought, watching you burn, willing it, passing over you, and through you. Scattering you, because you are a girl, and because you are ash.”

 
 
 
 
 
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Girls Burn Brighter
Shobha Rao

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Memory Wall
by Anthony Doerr

“I used to think...that I had to be careful with how much I lived. As if life was a pocketful of coins. You only got so much and you didn't want to spend it all in one place...But now I know that life is the one thing in the world that never runs out. I might run out of mine, and you might run out of yours, but the world will never run out of life. And we're all very lucky to be part of something like that.”

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Memory Wall
Anthony Doerr

In the wise and beautiful second collection from the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of All the Light We Cannot See, "Doerr writes about the big questions, the imponderables, the major metaphysical dreads, and he does it fearlessly" (The New York Times Book Review).

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This Tender Land
by William Kent Krueger

“If we were perfect, the light he shines on us would just bounce right off. But the wrinkles, they catch the light. And the cracks, that’s how the light gets inside us. When I pray, Odie, I never pray for perfection. I pray for forgiveness, because it’s the one prayer I know will always be answered.”

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This Tender Land
William Kent Krueger

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An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

“Love is the enemy of sound judgment, and occasionally this is in service of the good.”

Read the full review of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE.

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An American Marriage
Tayari Jones

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Heart Talk
by Cleo Wade

“it was time

so i said yes
i said yes to living
i said yes to loving
i said yes to being
my...
self
illuminated
and unafraid”

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Heart Talk
Cleo Wade

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The Power
by Naomi Alderman

“The shape of power is always the same: it is infinite, it is complex, it is forever branching. While it is alive like a tree, it is growing; while it contains itself, it is a multitude. Its directions are unpredictable; it obeys its own laws. No one can observe the acorn and extrapolate each vein in each leaf of the oak crown. The closer you look, the more various it becomes. However complex you think it is, it is more complex than that. Like the rivers to the ocean, like the lightning strike, it is obscene and uncontained.”

 
 
 
 
 
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The Power
Naomi Alderman

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The German Girl
Armando Lucas Correa

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Sula
by Toni Morrison

“In a way, her strangeness, her naiveté, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings, had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous.”

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Sula
Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s address to the Wellesley graduates of 2004 overflows with sage advice and inspiring quotes to live by. Morrison’s books will provide you with enough life lessons to get you through life’s most challenging seasons. SULA is a novel about friendship, unforgivable betrayal, and how a friendship survives through sharply divergent paths of womanhood.

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I Miss You When I Blink
by Mary Laura Philpott

“Sometimes, in moments of memory or daydream, I feel the different iterations of myself pass by each other, as if right-now-me crosses paths with past-me or imaginary-me or even future-me in the hallways of my mind. "I miss you when I blink," one says. "I'm right here," says the other, and reaches out a hand.”

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I Miss You When I Blink
Mary Laura Philpott

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