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Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another’s.

Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [Johann Paul Friedrich Richter; pseud. Jean Paul]
Titan: A Romance, Jubilee 28, cycle 110 (1803) [tr. Brooks (1864)]
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Alternate translation: "A man never reveals his character more vividly than when portraying the character of another."
Added on 10-Dec-21 | Last updated 10-Dec-21
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Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it’s the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it’s just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. So let’s just say that Ankh-Morpork is as full of life as an old cheese on a hot day, as loud as a curse in a cathedral, as bright as an oil slick, as colorful as a bruise and as full of activity, industry, bustle and sheer exuberant busyness as a dead dog on a termite mound.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Mort (1987)
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Added on 13-Apr-18 | Last updated 13-Apr-18
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All descriptions of reality are limited expressions of the world of emptiness. Yet we attach to the descriptions and think they are reality. That is a mistake.

Shunryū Suzuki (1905-1971) Japanese Zen Buddhist master
Not Always So, “Letters from Emptiness” (2002)
Added on 2-Feb-15 | Last updated 2-Feb-15
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Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.

Hilary Mantel (b. 1952) English writer
In “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction,” The Guardian (20 Feb 2010)
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Added on 29-Oct-14 | Last updated 29-Oct-14
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