Our salvation never comes in the form we would have chosen.
You must get beyond divertissement, sketch, anecdote, the interesting moment. You must get to the mystery of human personality. What is the line of the story that leads us to a point where we see or intuit something we haven't before?
A short story is a writer's way of thinking through experience... Journalism aims at accuracy, but fiction's aim is truth. The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth.
Sometimes, in that darkness, there is a single act of love, some selfless gesture, an aspiration, and we see that it's not been all waste, all hopeless, and we can ... well ... go on.
What a strange thing it is to recognize a sound like the shriek of a wounded animal, when you've never heard the shriek of a wounded animal.
Uninvited criticism is insult.
Plot does not simply move with time, but spreads out conceptually in metaphorical space.
Nothing on earth in fiction is less interesting than characters under the influence of alcohol.
Using language like jungle growth isn't the solution to telling a story.
There's something about a parenthesis in fiction that puts one off, saying, "It's me, moi, jumping in now."
Let good people sin. Give virtue to rotters.
Obscenities are too often used for shock value, as a kind of shorthand for real expression of emotion. You've got to scale down your monstrosities. A scream is not a discovery.
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