“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.”

~Allegra Goodman

“As he was undressing for bed, the fire flared. The red light traced faint lines across his body, across his back and arms. All the scars were smooth and silver, streaking him like lightning, like lines of gentle remembering.”

~Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind)

“In a short story, because of its compression, every vein can be loaded with ore, especially when the style is heavily figurative — dense with metaphor and simile.”

~Jack Smith (Write and Revise for Publication)

“The tide this time of year washes hundreds of tiny starfish up onto the beach. It leaves them stranded in salty constellations, a sandy galaxy within reach.”

~Amy Hempel (Tumble Home)

On creating characters:

“Begin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find that you have created — nothing.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The Rich Boy”)