“Humor is what happens...

... when we're told the truth quicker and more directly than we're used to.”                                        - George Saunders

As I was researching this quote, I ran across a lovely video on George and his approach to story and characters: how they know what they need to do. And that the scary thing is setting them free.

"Why would you be over-controlling your material?"

He asks his characters questions and they tell him. He lets his characters show him the way.

"Storytelling...I think it's a stand-in for day to day life. When you come to a story with this attitude ... which is hopeful, generous but not too pushy. It's like, "What are you? I don't know." And then you try to leave your ideas about the story at the door. Those things are so much what you do with the people you love. You come back to them again and again and try to intuit their real expansiveness. and you try to keep them close to you. You try to give them the benefit of the doubt. So in that sense you can see revision as form of an act of love in progress."