I have a question

Almost everyone I know has a favorite quote or recognizes a quote when it is stated. So my question is simply: how do I find quotable quotes?

I’ve decided to add my favorite line to my beta read feedback.

I’ve heard that helps with marketing a work and most of us need help in that department. I know I do.

So when I’m reading my work or another’s what should I be looking for?

Here’s a few to help you see what I mean:

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”

from: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

from: The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

from: The Two Towers by  J.R.R. Tolkien

And my personal favorites:

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

by André Gide

Gleaned from:


46 responses to “I have a question

  1. I think you have to decide for yourself what strikes you and means something to you in your life. One quote may hit home for me, but not for you. Vice-versa. What makes you stop and say “Wow” is how you would choose a memorable quote. When I’m starting a big project, I recall,”Eat an elephant one bite at a time.” Best wishes in finding your quote!!

  2. If you are wondering about quotes and copyrighting, it is safe to quote people who have passed since the 1970s I think. I think some protection on quotes kicks in in the 80s but my memory is foggy on the law off the top of my head. I may be misinterpreting your question Anna. Happy Tuesday 🙂

  3. That’s a good question about what makes something quotable. I’m not quite sure the answer, but I think it’s often some innate sense that picks out something as quotable. We just know. The quote’s truth resonates within us.

  4. I love the quote about well-behaved women 🙂

  5. I can’t recall book quotes, not ones that can be taken out of the context of the book and still mean something.

  6. I agree with J.Q.Rose: quotes are a subject to personal preferences, like any art. What works for me wouldn’t necessarily work for someone else.

  7. “How do I find quotable quotes?” At face value, I google them, the theme or sentiment or something I remember and I have over a 1000’s in my quote file that I keep in OneNote. I even have a chosen few on my website and in my extended bio that inspires me. They cheer me up too.

    Or Like JQ said, finding what resonates with you is something only you can find.

    The copyright I had not thought about that angle so maybe something I should check myself. I have not put any in a book or anything for sale but I do use in my blog posts. I thought as long as you attributed to the speaker it was a fair use and put out there to be shared, but maybe not, I had not considered this might be a side of it.

    • Giving someone credit for their work avoids plagiarism, and not having permission to use another’s work is copyright infringement. Two different things completely. 🙂

      • I did get that but being quotes people showing their authority or wisdom or being uplifting, so I thought people put them out there to be shared otherwise what was the point of the quote if not to share, inspire or teach, but if it is tooting your own horn then I guess I get the copyright part of it. I get the legal hardcore purpose. I suppose my more altruistic view shaded the worldview point. Just did not think about or have it occur to me.

        • I was talking about quotes specifically or already put out as quotes, not just quoting someone ones work, to clarify when I was speaking about quotes. That type of quoting is obvious as taking someone else’s work.

        • I think I’m doing it ass-backwards (excuse the french hehehe). In your case, aren’t most quotes chosen by the reader not the writer?

          • Could be, but talking about sites like Goodreads Quotes, Brainy Quotes, and other such sites as using their quotes, quotes that are already out there. That is where I get the majority of mine that I post on my blog. Also if google Quote along with words I remember that will normally lead me to a site that is putting out quotes or quoting someone else e.g. the one I am looking for and remember reading before (age-old ones most often) in fair use.

          • Thanks, I’ve made a note. 🙂

  8. Go with your gut. As everyone else points out, it’s all very personal. And very situational. When I use a quote, I’m generally trying to set a tone at the outset of whatever follows.

    • I hear that. Funny how so many of my sentences aren’t quote worthy. This must stop.

      From now on, I must have at least one quotable quote per chapter and that doesn’t include opening or closing sentences. hehehe

  9. When I use quotes on my blog, they’re always ones that strike me for some reason – they’re encouraging or funny, etc. I find I just tend to come across them in my reading – I rarely ever search them out. They just find me. 🙂

  10. I don’t know about the copyrighting issues but I love the quotes!

  11. Pinterest is a goldmine for that sort of thing. There’s tons of boards that are just quotes. You’ll find millions without even trying.

  12. Here is a quote I just came across watching Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 6 at the end. I looked it up on Brainy Quotes while it was still in my mind. “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” ~ Martin Luther
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth380369.html

    Pinterest is another great source as was pointed out.

  13. If you’re on GoodReads, you can go to the Quotes section and type in by author or topic. Scrolling through might give you ideas. You could pick a few to keep on hand to match the occasion. Sometimes I like quotes that challenge me and sometimes I like ones that have me smiling.

  14. Your personal favorite quotes are two awesome quotes everyone should know and remember.

  15. I’m not sure how to answer. The best I can say is if something pops out at you, then that might be a quote you should use because it obviously struck you.

  16. I like trying to think up quotes that might be considered quotable or pull something that I think was notable from my blog posts. Often I’ll use Twitter to first see if I can edit my thoughts down to an essence of pithiness. Then I wait to see if I get any likes or retweets. I feel like if somebody else found some kind of value in what I said then I’m on the right track.

    Tossing It Out

  17. I always see quotes at the beginning of chapters of some authors, but I never figured out where I could find them for myself. It’d probably take more time to find them then it would for me to write my story.

  18. I think it is our instinct when something clicks.

  19. I like quotes that tie in with my blog post of the day. It’s a challenge to find them, but fun. I enjoyed reading yours today, especially the one about well-behaved women. 🙂

  20. These are some incredible quotes. I love them all!!! When I read books, some sayings stand out to me and I write them down (like your quote from The Road – I’m sure I have that one jotted down somewhere as well). When it comes to your own book, I have no idea how you “find” them yourself. They are usually all your own words, but maybe, something jumps out at readers, so I think that is the right way to go about this – ask beta readers to underline, or note, their three favorite lines in your work. I might steal that idea when it is time to get beta readers myself. 🙂

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