Time is Needed

By and large really great writing from all wars comes a good time afterwards, when a person has had the time to let material develop and form itself, so that it’s not rhetorical. So that it’s not so heavily autobiographical.  … It’s a bit like writing about cancer; there needs to be time. You need to find a way to transcend the tendency to put in every little detail. Just because it felt so important, it may not be important to the reader. And time is needed for imagination to come into play and to work with the material, to shape a story that may not be wholly in the real world, but only partly.

Tim O’Brien