Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.
Fiction's about what it is to be a human being.
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
Three characteristics a work of fiction must possess in order to be successful:
1. It must have a precise and suspenseful plot.
2. The author must feel a passionate urge to write it.
3. He must have the conviction, or at least the illusion, that he is the only one who can handle this particular theme.
ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER
First-rate fiction lays hands on the reader, to heal him or rough him up or, ideally, to do both.
The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense, whereas reality never makes sense.
Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.
Character is the very life of fiction. Setting exists so that the character has someplace to stand. Plot exists so the character can discover what he is really like, forcing the character to choice and action. And theme exists only to make the character stand up and be somebody.
In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.
Basically, fiction is people. You can’t write fiction about ideas.
Structure is the key to narrative. These are the crucial questions any storyteller must answer: Where does it begin? Where does the beginning start to end and the middle begin? Where does the middle start to end and the end begin?
Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.