Fueled by my inspiration, I ran across the room to steal the cup of coffee the bookshelf had taken prisoner. Lapping the black watery brew like a hyena, I tossed the empty cup aside. I then returned to the chair to continue my divine act of creation. Hot blood swished in my head as my mighty pen stole across the page.
Perhaps the critics are right: this generation may not produce literature equal to that of any past generation--who cares? The writer will be dead before anyone can judge him--but he must go on writing, reflecting disorder, defeat, despair, should that be all he sees at the moment, but ever searching for the elusive love, joy, and hope--qualities which, as in the act of life itself, are best when they have to be struggled for, and are not commonly come by with much ease, either by a critic's formula or by a critic's yearning.
And yet it was also true that the tumor could not be removed by our doctor, and as a result of that a strange medication had been given him that enabled my brother to become even more of an enigma than he was before, and as a result of that there came to exist not only the machine and the inertia that came with it, but a change of perspective among the townsfolk that was a result of their interactions with the various phases of my brother. And so it was that when the flood began to rear its terrible head, not only was there the inertia that we all had to deal with, but a sense of the sublime that we had begun to feel for the waters which had roared upon the horizon.
A related question is where in time to begin. Should you begin far back in a character's past and move forward, or should you begin in the present and make use of flashbacks only where necessary? ... If the material with which you want to open the story is from the character's deep past, then there has to be an important relationship between what has happened in the past and what is about to happen. In other words, is the material with which you open the story an arrow pointing toward the unified effect?
All writers struggle at some point with the problem of balance between authority and involvement, seduction and revelation. Specifically, beginning writers wonder how much description to employ, and more advanced writers ask how much plot is too much or too little. And there is no better place to find answers than in the Victoria's Secret catalogue--or in any ad for lingerie--where the arts of seduction and revelation are so successfully practiced. After all, the secret of the effective lingerie ad is the secret of effective storytelling--to provide, moment by moment, the illusion of imminent expose, to give the viewer (read: reader) the uncanny sense that something fundamentally compelling is always just about to be revealed. Lingerie ads and storytelling balance the veiled and the unveiled, the seen and the unseen, the shown and the about-to-be-shown. In short, it is the art of the tease, the craft of selective 'coverage,' that, not just in lingerie but in storytelling, works to enthrall.