We don’t create . . . to escape . . .

We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.

~Lynda Barry

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Work to be influenced

[F]or the practicing artist influence requires a more active engagement. We must work to be influenced, not merely wait.

~ Margot Livesay

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You have to finish things . . .

You have to finish things — you learn by finishing things.

~Neil Gaiman

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Criteria

Is it fiction? Is it interesting? Will the reader want to begin the story? Will the reader want to finish the story? Is the author’s discipline evident in the editing? Is it a finished product?

~Unknown

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The writing has to stand for itself

If the writing is unclear, we’ll read it a second time and make it clear to ourselves and then let the writer off the hook, when, in fact, the writing has to stand for itself . . .  You want to work on the writing until it is good enough that the writer doesn’t have to be in the room explaining and interpreting.

~Wally Lamb

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What we expect

[It] does what we expect the work of our best writers to do: reflect our world from a surprising perspective so that we might better see its beauty and contradictions, it comforts and aches.

~Paul Temblay

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Fiction is the art form of human yearning

Fiction is the art form of human yearning. That is absolutely essential to any work of fictional narrative art—a character who yearns. And that is not the same as a character who simply has problems. . . . The yearning is also the thing that generates what we call plot, because the elements of the plot come from thwarted or blocked or challenged attempts to fulfill that yearning.

~Robert Olen Butler

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