"Even as an experienced and successful writer Jane Austen's conception and execution were neither instinctive nor unerring. We feel the inevitable rightness in her handling of the novel [Persuasion]'s conclusion; yet this achievement was not, in the act of creation, a swift and effortless performance, but a triumph of rethinking won through trial and error." B.C. Southam, Jane Austen's Literary Manuscripts: A study of the novelist's development through the surviving papers, p. 86.
"The joy for me of being a writer — the real joy — is in those moments that weren't there in your head five seconds ago. They're the moments where you needed a scene to happen between two other scenes, and suddenly everything's changed." Neil Gaiman, Interview with Chris Bolton for Powells.com.
The Bolton interview wass, to my knowledge, also the first time Neil opined that writers are otters, although he just discussed that again in an interview with The Guardian: "'Otters are not trainable,' he explains. 'Dogs are trainable - if you want them to sit you train them and give them rewards and they sit each time. But otters... if they do something cool and you give them a fish, the next time they'll do something even cooler. Or they'll try to do something completely different. I think that most writers - or at least a lot of us - are otters.'"
And from Laurie Halse Anderson's keynote at the Fall Philly Conference yesterday, speaking about writers: "We see and hear the things that other people don't, and we make them real."