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I suspect that any vital creative process somehow involves arranging things so that intuition is given pride of place. The individual writer’s “craft” might be understood, then, as the process of conspiring to work oneself into the necessary state of mystification, such that one is deferring to the innate energy of the story, rather than overriding it.

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Simple style is like white light. It is complex, but its complexity is not obvious.

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Tell the truth by making every page drive one story forward and have a context the reader can relate to.

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I learned that if they’re characters, you don’t think about what they have given you or taken away — they’re just someone you’re describing.

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So much of writing is about how you deal with failure. I meet a lot of young people who have the talent and the work ethic to write. A lot of them are really intelligent and have succeeded for much of their lives. But writing is different: you have to fail in order to move forward. You can’t smart your way out of it. You can be smart as hell and it just doesn’t matter. You’re going to fail.

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