"Work extra hard on the beginning of your story, so it snares readers instantly. And know how you’re going to end your story before you start writing; without a sense of direction, you can get lost in the middle."
"The first act of insight is throw away the labels. In fiction, while we do not necessarily write about ourselves, we write out of ourselves, using ourselves; what we learn from, what we are sensitive to, what we feel strongly about—these become our characters and go to make our plots. Characters in fiction are conceived from within, and they have, accordingly, their own interior life; they are individuals every time."
"We’re always being told ‘find your voice.’ When I was younger, I never really knew what this meant. I used to worry a lot about voice, wondering if I had my own. But now I realize that the only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow."
"Writing is like everything else: the more you do it the better you get. Don’t try to be perfect as you go along, just get to the end of tha damn thing. Accept imperfections. Get it finished and then you can go back. If you try and polish every sentence there’s a chance you’ll never get past the first chapter."
"Perfection is an unattainable goal. It isn’t going to be perfect. Just get words down on paper, and when you stumble to what you think is the end of the book, you will have hundreds of pages of words that came out of your head. It may not be perfect, but it looks like a book."