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Food for thought: What good writers do

Hemingway, via Letters of Note
Invention is the finest thing but you cannot invent anything that would not actually happen. That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best—make it all up—but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way. 
~Ernest Hemingway in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald which you can read in its entirety at Letters of Note

It has always boggled my mind that Fitzgerald and Hemingway lived and breathed in the same time and space. If you are a writer, this letter is well worth the read (and, yes, I am relieved that even Hemingway made grammatical mistakes in personal correspondence). I particularly resonated with the above part of that letter because it gets at what makes a good story.