Sunday, June 6, 2010

Best Lines I Wish Were Mine

i am one of those people who destroys her favorite books. i underline passages in pen and doodle stars next to bits i like. (not in all of my books – not even in most of them – but every so often, when the writing is so good, i just can’t help myself).

i am also one of those people who will connect with a quote on tv or in a movie and carry it around with me all day, until it becomes a permanent memory, taking up its own little corner of my brain, to be repeated to myself months, even years later – when it seems applicable or when i need a smile.

i love being the audience for these quotes, but as a writer, there is also that twinge of: “damn! i wish I’d written that!”

anyway, i thought I’d share a few with you.


“I don't mean to interrupt your downward mobility, but I just wanted to tell you that you won't be meeting Coach Foster, the woman with the chest hair, because gym was canceled due to the extreme dead guy in the locker.” – Cordelia, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (because i write young adult and think voice is so critical to writing, this quote is possibly my favorite TV line of all time)

Perfume counter saleswoman: You know what the fastest way to a man's heart is?
Roseanne: Yeah. through his chest.
” - Roseanne

Oh, man. I feel like I'm the middle of a really bad after-school special." – Darline, Roseanne
(i liked this line so much i stole it and use it all the time - have for years)

Too many from film to really get into, but here's just one for fun:
Chunk: How's this?
Mikey: Oh, you idiot! You glued it on upside-down!
Brandon Walsh: If God made it that way, you'd all be pissing in your faces!
Chunk: Looks fine to me.
” – Goonies
(love this line for subtle innuendo. very clever.)


"We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel, and looked at each other for the last time." - Jack Kerouac, On the Road
(the first passage i ever underlined - and because of that, possibly my favorite book quote of all time - the first one that "got" to me)

"It's still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it's the truth even if it didn't happen." - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

"The Dursleys of Number Four, Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
(my favorite first line of any book. i remember smiling the first time i read it and knew instantly that i was about to become one of those crazy potter fanatics)

finally, a smattering of quotes from my most favorite author for pure writing, if not always for storyline:

"Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind."
and on the very next page:
"I can have oodles of charm when I want to." - Breakfast of Champions

"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." - Hocus Pocus

"Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe." - Hocus Pocus

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." - Mother Night
...all by the late Kurt Vonnegut
"So it goes."
what are some of your faves?


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Gem said...

Okay, I never write in my fave books *shudder* but my fave first line and one I wish I'd written is 'Describe, using diagrams where appropriate, the exact circumstances leading up to your death.' (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor)

And lines I heard recently that I wish I'd thought of, my friend who had been to a ballet class that night – ‘it was like boot camp for burnout ballerinas.' Now there’s a book waiting to be written!!

(love the Buffy and HP quotes)

Remilda Graystone said...

I loved those! Some of them made me laugh and others had me smiling and nodding my head. I have too many favorites to list. This does make me want to start recording all the lines across that I love, though.

Tahereh said...

haha love it! such a cool collection. takes you back, huh?


erinjade said...

Gem, i love that first line! it's enough to make me want the book without knowing anything else about it.

McD/Michael L. - the repeat comments were deleted, so feel free to post again. sorry blogger is acting up!

Glen Akin said...

I'll give you the quotes i love the most.

Dexter Morgan (TV Show: Dexter): "Most actors toil in obscurity, never stepping into the spotlight. But if you hone your craft, work diligently, you might just find yourself cast in the role of a lifetime."

Lost season 6 Promo (This one, man, I wish, wish, wish I had come up with it first. Fuck, I hate the person who wrote this): "The wise man said life is a chessboard of nights and days, where men are pawns of God moved here and there. God allows them to kill, and kills, and piece by piece he puts them back in the box, because there’s a destiny for every piece, for every player ... and for God. Destiny will be fulfilled."

erinjade said...

Glen those rock! I am a lost junkie but I never caught that promo. That's awesome.

McD said...

"We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union."
Lone Watie
Outlaw Josey Wales

"Never insult seven men when all you have is a six shooter –"

"I don’t know half of you half as well as I would like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
J. R. R. Tolkien

E.J. Wesley said...

Hey EJ, I linked to your post on my blog.

Thanks for inspiring the fun!

erinjade said...

Awesome! Thanks EJ!