Woolf Gets It!

“‘The proper stuff of fiction’ does not exist; everything is the proper stuff of fiction, every feeling, every thought; every quality of brain and spirit is drawn upon; no perception comes amiss.”

Woolf, Virginia. “Modern Fiction.” In The Common Reader, 154. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 1925.

I couldn’t agree more with this essay, and this summarizing quote. For me, this idea that fiction is what you make it and not what you’re told it is, is one that I struggle with. Not that I don’t stand behind it to the fullest, but, as I intend to teach creative writing classes someday, I’ve been finding it difficult to decide how I can teach a craft that comes from the heart and soul rather than a defined method or period of time. Of course there will never quite be an answer to my woes, but it’s great to know that my viewpoint is shared by so many I admire.