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Style: The art of writing well by F. L. Lucas

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CHAPTER 11: Methods of Writing

TEMPERAMENTS are so various that there may be even more than ‘nine-and-sixty ways’ of writing books. Rousseau, for example, could not compose with pen in hand: but then Chateaubriand could not compose without. Wordsworth did it while walking, riding, or in bed; but Southey, only at his desk. Shakespeare, we are told, never blotted a line; Scott could toss first drafts unread to the printer; Trollope drilled himself, watch on desk, to produce two hundred and fifty words every quarter of an hour; Hilaire Belloc, so Desmond MacCarthy once told me, claimed to have written twenty thousand of them in a day; and in ten days Balzac could turn out sixty thousand. [311] On the other hand Ronsard and Montaigne, FitzGerald ...

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