Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
The most important training, though, is to experience life as a writer, questioning everything, inventing multiple explanations for everything. If you do that, all the other things will come; if you don’t, there’s no hope for you.
Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
The education that prepared me was my general education classes, which I tried to avoid when I was a stupid undergraduate, but which gave me the foundation of general knowledge that makes a career as a writer possible.
Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.
I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories we know are not true because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself.
Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.
We don’t read novels to have an experience like life. Heck, we’re living lives, complete with all the incompleteness. We turn to fiction to have an author assure us that it means something.