"You know what it's like when you try and tell someone what your dream is like? It's so boring because it evaporates in the telling somehow. A novel for me is an attempt to build a kind of hermetic vessel that can contain this essence you've been dreaming about, this feeling that you don't want to evaporate. You keep it enclosed and you don't tell anyone about it until you build a vessel that can contain it and keep it at its maximum intensity and purity — that's the novel."
Philip Pullman. I don't know if I like him a ton, but this is spot on.