Fiction is the art of persuasion through rhetorical magic. If, to the reader, it doesn’t feel like effortless magic, then it isn’t working. That’s what all the endless toil is about. That’s the why behind the weeks, months, years of solitary, mental grappling: the creation of dream-made-flesh.
Fiction is the giving birth to what is missing; that which was not noticed as missing until it arrived. It is the beautiful animal that lives around the corner you haven’t yet turned. It is the surprise of its necessity, which would never have been so, had the writer not dreamed it, and toiled out of love for its birth. It is the necessary, dreaming itself into loving being through the willing martyr, the writer.
Any art, be it writing, painting, dance, music or teaching, is the best martyrdom possible. It makes of a cosmos one simple droplet, by which the world is slaked of a thirst it never knew it had.