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“All art is concerned with the creation of an emotional reaction on the part of the beholder.”
“Fictional characters exist in only two places, neither of which is on the printed page. They exist, first, in the mind of the writer and, second, in the mind of the reader.”
“... plot is character in action. ”
“Contrast is the intangible ingredient, the catalyst that makes life exciting. The human mind rejects monotony even to the point of destroying itself in madness, when monotony is forced upon it for too long. ... Contrast gives variety and interest, whether it be in the universe as a whole with its light and darkness, its ceaseless motion and constant change, its creation of worlds and destruction of others ... ”
“The need of the human mind for contrast has its roots in the mind's age-old habit of looking for differences and likenesses. When the mind can find no differences and no likenesses, as is the case when monotony is present, it restlessly, then resentfully, and at last frantically seeks for contrast that it may again busy itself with observing differences and likenesses.”
Maren Elwood, U.S. writer
Wish I knew more about her. Her books are “old,” but much of her thinking and advice is fresh and useful.