“‘Actually that’s the trouble with stories. People start out fantastic. You think they’re extraordinary, but it turns out as the work goes along, they’re just average with a good education. Sometimes the other way around, the person’s a kind of dumb innocent, but he outwits you and you can’t even think of an ending good enough.’
“‘What do you do then?’ he asked. He had been a doctor for a couple of decades and then an artist for a couple of decades and he’s still interested in details, craft, technique.
“‘Well, you just have to let the story lie around till some agreement can be reached between you and the stubborn hero’”
—Grace Paley, “A Conversation with My Father,” Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (1974)