Watch Carefully

"Many writers feel that they have to put all this drama in their books in order for us to feel something. Drama is always too easy, in a way....

"[I]t’s much more interesting to deal with everyday life, with novelty, with days going by and nothing changing. It’s more difficult, but it’s more interesting—because that’s what most of our lives are. Ninety-nine percent of our days are like the day before. It’s very seldom that we kill ourselves, that we are raped, or killed—luckily. For me, the interesting thing is to deal with that head-on: How do we live when nothing is changing? How do we deal with small things?

"You can still achieve emotional impact without big, dramatic gestures. It’s done by watching very carefully."

Peter Stamm, in "Great Writing Is Humble," The Atlantic