“… we go on perseveringly, conscientiously, constructing our two and thirty chapters after a design which more and more ceases to resemble the vision of our minds.”
“But sometimes, more and more often as time goes by, we suspect a momentary doubt, a spasm of rebellion, as the pages fill themselves in a customary way. Is life like this? Must novels be like this?”
Like James and Wilde, Woolf is presenting a very metacognitive description of modern fiction. There are supposed rules for how authors ought to write, but in reality this “criteria” takes away from the imaginative concept of fiction itself.