"Sometimes a story will stand or fall on a simple word choice or on one sentence in the middle of a paragraph that either says too much or doesn’t say enough. It either takes us too far or doesn’t take us far enough. I am amazed by the way that a story can fail by having a few words out of place. More often than not, I think it’s because the writer has been afraid of turning the heat up. He or she—the writer—has found a situation or a feeling and been afraid to face it down, so the language goes a little dead. The scenes go a bit dead and you think: this story isn’t facing up to all the consequences that it set into motion."