"Let us guess that whenever we read a sentence and like it, we unconsciously store it away in our model-chamber; and it goes, with the myriad of its fellows, to the building, brick by brick, of the eventual edifice which we call our style." - Mark Twain
If this is the case, the entire basement of my house of style is made of tiny bearded bricks in white linen suits. Mark Twain saw the world so clearly. He saw the humor of things because he also saw the truth of them. Thus, Twain's self-awareness as a writer and a man just makes sense. His ideas about writing (and about life) are inspirational without being maudlin and funny without being trite.
"The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say."Do yourself a favor - go read Captain Stormfield's Visit To Heaven. It will change the way you live your life. Or at least the way you use adjectives.
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
"Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very.' Your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."