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on writing > The first rule of fiction

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm heartened to see so many aspiring writers who some day, some way, may actually get the job done. I'm an old timer (sort of). In my youth it never crossed my mind to be a writer - though I was always a story teller and that, my friends, is the first rule of a fiction writer. You're the entertainer, the one who tells a full length 'lie' (which fiction inevitably is) as though they're telling the truth. Convince your readers that the world/characters you have created are real - and believe in it yourself - and yourself. Thirty published books down the line I am a professional. Stamina and the hide of a hippo helps too.


message 2: by Pat (new)

Pat Whitaker (whitakerbooks) | 54 comments I can't claim to share your success, but I do share the sentiment - I describe myself as a story-teller not an author (producing entertainment, not literature).


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

As it was in the beginning - before writing - illiterate folk sitting around campfires all over the world and being told the story, the saga, the epic poem. I've ran a number of workshops and found that once a delegate gets it in their head that the story is of prime importance, their writing actually improves. It's good to see.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

re hippo. I thought I'd give the poor old rhino a rest. Alliteration is more effective.


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Sandusky (idgs) | 16 comments I thought the first rule about fiction was you don't talk about fiction?

Oh wait - that's Fight Club.


message 6: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Sarge (kdsarge) | 6 comments My first rule of fiction is butt in chair. ^_^

Hide of a hippo, though--that's definitely a necessity.


message 7: by John (new)

John Carroll (johncarroll) | 27 comments My characters are real . . . why would you suggest they aren't? . . .

You should know that they're glaring at you.


message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark Johansen | 24 comments Yeah, that's why I hate stories that end, "... and then I woke up. It had all been a dream" and variations on that idea. I've just spent how many hours with your book, trying to get into it and believing that it's real, and then at the end you tell me that you don't believe any of it either! It's like, the writer has broken his contract with the reader.


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