Inspiration #24

Every Sunday, I choose a passage of wisdom from someone who knows better and much more than I do about writing, life, the universe and/or everything.

Share and enjoy!

There is an implied contract between the author and the reader that goes something like this: Give me your time and money, and I'll let you experience what it's like to be

  • a trapper in the North Woods
  • an explorer in the Martian desert
  • a young woman in love with an older man
  • a dying cancer patient…

You must look hard at the offer you are making: would you accept it, if you were the reader?

Most people have emotional problems of their own that hurt so much that they keep trying to push them down. Fiction can lure them into a vicarious experience that discharges these emotions. But you can't say, “Read this story, it will wring your guts.” You have to say, “Read this story, it will interest and entertain you,” and then wring their guts.

~from Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight

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