Thank you, I am much obliged.
In answer to your first question; the concept of grace under pressure is not a new one. There are many precedents, both in literature and in history. I write what I observe and what I live, and also of what I observe of the lives of others. I am awed by the fortitude displayed by individuals in great straits of pain and difficulty, awed, and also inspired. Who could not be? I endeavour, have always endeavoured, to follow their example. True courage lies in the stoic acceptance of the blows dealt by fate. To be forged into harder stuff, rather than broken by circumstance. In that we discover our humanity.
My style of writing, like that of every honest writer, has yet to attain that state of perfection I aspire to achieve. It is a thing that evolves and changes with every pen-stroke, with every clack of a typewriter key. I do believe however, that the writer must be honest with himself first. If he cannot manage that then his words will never have the loud, clear ring of truth. I was assisted, at an early stage, by the demands of journalism. Reporting calls for brevity and clarity above all else.
As for dialog – try this technique. Listen to a conversation, write it down word for word. It will contain repetition, rambling, disjointed sentences and a lot of nonsense. Now, cut all the extraneous nothings and condense the entire conversation into two exchanges. Done.
Last question. Every man deserves a vice. Drunk or sober, I am myself,