Excerpted from The New Yorker’s Page-Turner
I’ve come to see that the fostering of unease lies at the very core of novel writing. I don’t know how much useful advice I have for my students, but I do feel evangelical when explaining that their first duty as novelists is to love their creations—their characters—wholeheartedly. And that their second duty is to ignore the protectiveness that love naturally engenders—the urge to shelter their characters from harm—and instead subject them to serial catastrophes.
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