I believe that intentions matter. They matter in life and they matter in writing fiction. If you sincerely want to explore the humanity of a character who happens to be of a different race, that sincerity will shine through. Readers are so awesomely smart.
The hardest time to write is around two in the morning, when it might still be reasonable to turn in. Your throat starts to hurt; you’re sure you’re getting sick; your head feels like a sponge. . . . After 2:30 or so—well, there’s something that happens when it’s late enough.
My writing is deeply formed by my experience as an architect in two ways. Firstly, my many years as an architect taught me to sustain a long creative process. Designing a building takes many tries—it is an iterative, grueling process. Architects try different design approaches, fail, and often go “back to the drawing board.” And secondly, I gained a real understanding of structure, which is useful when plotting an intricate suspense novel.
It was always clear I could conjure up better characters than the imperfect ones I met on the job, that the battles I am able to create are far more dramatic than the ones I took part in (not least because my own perspective, both as a war reporter and as a soldier, was rarely further than two hundred yards, and much unimproved by mortal fear).
by Jon Clinch
Mark Twain was, above all else, a human being engaged in the struggles of a full human life—and he presented himself on the page with all of the complexity and all of the contradiction that unfiltered humanity brings with it.