Or Andrews, the book critic protagonist in Tobias Wolff's "Bullet in the Brain," who can't turn off his need to correct and critique, even when a gun is being trained on him and his silence is a matter of life or death. Many stories are enriched because of the specific tasks and occupations characters choose. Don't miss out on your riches.
This is simply one way of getting them to follow their instincts and to not over-think their stories as they're writing the. It's important for students to become comfortable engaging with the storytelling part of their mind and not thinking too much about the end result.
—Andrew Porter, interviewed by Trevor Gore
Many of the stylistic choices came to me very clearly and there was a sense of playfulness as I was writing it. I sometimes wonder why not all writing feels this playful and intuitive. It's a question I ask myself even though I think I know the answer: different works have different ambitions and, therefore, require different approaches.
Here's my point: Writers rarely know who they are as writers. Well, if you grab hold of one of the most insightful ones and ask them, they might be able to articulate who they are in that particular moment. At that moment they're obsessed with coming-of-age stories, maybe, or they only believe in first-person narrators, or everything they do is stream of consciousness. But that's only who that writer is for that one particular moment. That one fleeting moment. And only a fool would decide that that's how things have to be forever. We are not limited to one defining thing.
In my dad's work as a geologist, questions fuel his work, his research. That is absolutely the case for me in fiction. I start with a question and I'm just writing into that uncertainty, wring into the question. I think that's one reason my process can feel overly slow and inefficient. But it's also what keeps wring interesting and compelling to me.
—Kirsten Valdez Quade, interviewed by Jeremiah Chamberlin
The thing that finally made my work something editors wanted to publish was the ability to portray the contradictions within my characters, to understand that a good story brings us more truth than we think we have a right to expect. The most important thing I did as I developed my craft was to challenge myself to deepen my characters by finding something unexpected in them and to see how it could be accurate given the circumstances of their lives.