I don't judge a scene or a line of dialog by whether or not it advances the plot, for example. Imagine an edit of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction wherein only dialog that advances the plot was allowed to remain. I don't obsess over the balance of conflict and interaction. I don't generally fret over the possibility that something I do may cause some reader to experience a disconnect (what an odious metaphor). I don't think in dramatic arcs. I don't spend a lot of time wondering if the plot is getting lost in description and conversation. To me, this all seems like a wealth of tedious confusion being introduced into an act that ought to be instinctive, natural, intuitive. I want to say, stop thinking about all that stuff and just write the story you have to tell. Let the story show you how it needs you to write it. I don't try to imagine how the reader will react to X or if maybe A, B, and C should have happened by page R. It's not that I don't want the story to be read. I desire readers as much as anyone. But I desire readers who want to read what I'm writing, not readers who approach fiction with so many expectations that they're constantly second-guessing and critiquing the author's every move, book in one hand, some workshop checklist in the other, and a stopwatch on the desk before them. If writing or reading like this seems to work for you, fine. I mean, I've always said that when you find something that works, stick with it. But, for me, it seems as though such an anal approach to creating any art would bleed from it any spark of enjoyment on the part of the artist (not to mention the audience). It also feels like an attempt to side-step the nasty issue of talent, as if we can all write equally well if we only follow the rules, because, you know, good writing is really 99% craft, not inexplicable, inconvenient, unquantifiable talent.

~ Caitlín R. Kiernan