Chuck Palahniuk on NPR
The big rule that I was taught in minimalism is that you have got 7-10 minutes to read your story, and in that 7-10 minutes you have got to make people laugh—that’s most important.
You have got to make them feel something, some sympathetic physical reaction. Disease does that, illness does that, violence does that, sex does that.
And third, and most important is you have got to break their heart at the end. When they’re laughing the hardest or when they are feeling the sickest, you have got to break their heart. It’s talking about the things we cannot talk about that is so incredibly powerful. It gives people freedom not just to talk about those, but to laugh about those things. And that, my god, we don’t need anything beyond that.