How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper? When was the last time you dared release a cherished prejudice so it slammed the page like a lighting bolt? What are the best things and the worst things in your life, and when are you going to get around to whispering or shouting them?
Find a character, like yourself, who will want something or not want something, with all his heart. Give him running orders. Shoot him off. Then follow as fast as you can go. The character, in his great love, or hate, will rush you through to the end of the story. The zest and gusto of his need, and there is zest in hate as well as in love, will fire the landscape and raise the temperature of your typewriter thirty degrees.
-Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing, 4-5, 6-7.