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.
Our salvation never comes in the form we would have chosen.
Let good people sin. Give virtue to rotters.
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.
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.
Nothing on earth in fiction is less interesting than characters under the influence of alcohol.
Uninvited criticism is insult.
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.
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."
Plot does not simply move with time, but spreads out conceptually in metaphorical space.
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