Phyllis A. Whitney

Literary Birthday – 9 September – Phyllis A. Whitney

Phyllis A. Whitney was born 9 September 1903 and died 8 February 2008.


  1. One of the wonderful things about being ALIVE is that it’s never too late.
  2. You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like.
  3. A good book isn’t written, it’s rewritten.
  4. Problem, purpose, conflict, goal. Use them. Think about them while you are in the planning phase of your novel; keep these elements at the back of your mind to guide you while you write. When you have written a scene, make sure they are all there, or that if one or another is missing, it is intentional and the effect is what you want.
  5. There’s only one good reason to be a writer-we can’t help it!
  6. ‘As good as’ always spells mediocrity. But when a writer’s work is in competition with all those thousands of other manuscripts that pour over an editor’s desk, he cannot afford to be ‘as good as’; he (or she) must be ‘better than’.

Phyllis A. Whitney was a Japanese-born American mystery writer. She wrote mysteries for both the juvenile and the adult markets, and she is often described as a Gothic novelist. Her books include Hunter’s Green and The Moonflower, and a book on writing: Guide to Fiction Writing.

Author’s website

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 8th September 2017