“Do not be nice to your characters; slap them with one problem after the other. What is compelling about a nice, smart, handsome, rich man? But an illegitimate woman who has lied her way to a conservative congressional seat—now there's a story. Throw in a few reporters, a disgusted husband, a disturbed child or two, and the conflict will carry this story to its heartbreaking/heartwarming conclusion.
Writing is not like parenting. Torment, confusion, obstacles, and catastrophes are good things.”