What I liked best about the book were the "notes." These, says Horgan, are short thoughts and epiphanies as might be recorded in an author's notebook. I returned to these again and again, reading them in random order. Here are a few for this late Sunday afternoon:
- How important for the novelist is a highly developed sense of place, and how rarely is it richly realized. When well done, it compels the reader to supply details in his imagination which are not described by the author.
- Every true novel is a historical novel.
- We begin to "create" when we see everyone else in ourselves.
- Every fictional character is like life--but must seem larger.
- One can learn much about the "grown-up" world by listening to children at play.
- A test of characters in fiction: can you imagine how they would write letters?
- If it is to be any good, a writer must positively inhabit his book as he writes it.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of "The Seeker," "Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire," and "Emily's Stories."