Lawrence Wright on one of the secrets of the writer’s craft:
The first thing I look for in trying to tell a story is a great character whose life can take us on a meaningful journey. I think of this figure as a donkey. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. A donkey is a beast of burden. If the reader cares about your character, you can load him up with information that would otherwise be no more than data points but which gain significance and emotional resonance when they carried by a serviceable donkey.
Like Woody Allen, who said he has to buy a newspaper to ride an elevator, Wright leaves the house suited up for writing. Head over to take a look.