What importance should be given to details, in developing a subject?--Remorselessly sacrifice everything that does not contribute to clarity, verisimilitude, and effect.Accentuate everything that sets the main idea in relief, so that the impression be colourful, picturesque. It's sufficient that the rest be in its proper place, but in half-tone. That is what gives to style, as to painting, unity, perspective, and effect.- Constantin Georges Romain Héger, teacher to Charlotte Brontë
Copies have been dethroned; the economic model built on them is collapsing. In a regime of superabundant free copies, copies are no longer the basis of wealth. Now relationships, links, connections, and sharing are. Value has shifted away from a copy toward the many ways to recall, annotate, personalize, edit, authenticate, display, mark, transfer, and engage a work. Art is a conversation, not a patent office. The citation of sources belongs to the realms of journalism and scholarship, not art. Reality can’t be copyrighted.
Without entering here into a dissertation upon the historical romance, it may be said that in proper hands it has been and should continue to be one of the most valued and valuable expressions of the literary art. To render and maintain it so, however, it is necessary that certain well-defined limits should be set upon the licence which its writers are to enjoy; it is necessary that the work should be honest work; that preparation for it should be made by a sound, painstaking study of the period to be represented, to the end that a true impression may first be formed and then conveyed. Thus, considering how much more far-reaching is the novel than any other form of literature, the good results that must wait upon such endeavours are beyond question. The neglect of them—the distortion of character to suit the romancer's ends, the like distortion of historical facts, the gross anachronisms arising out of a lack of study, have done much to bring the historical romance into disrepute.
And yet, for a writer of fiction, part of the heart remains that of a stranger, for what we are trying to do is to understand those others who are our fictional characters, somehow to gain entrance to their minds and feelings, to respect them for themselves as human individuals, and to portray them as truly as we can. The whole process of fiction is a mysterious one, and a writer, however experienced, remains in some ways a perpetual amateur, or perhaps a perpetual traveller, an explorer of those inner territories, those strange lands of the heart and spirit.
For people who make up stories for a living, that is the ultimate success: knowing that, when the book closes, when the series ends, the adventure is not over. It goes on without the creator, in the minds of the people who love it. You can’t stop the signal. Once it’s broadcast, it continues on forever, pulsing past star clusters, lighting up new worlds, collecting new fans, till the end of time itself.