Daily Writing Tip 52 of 100, You Will Never Fool Anyone Else If You Can’t Fool Yourself

For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.

Today’s tip – You Will Never Fool Anyone Else If You Can’t Fool Yourself

Source – Narrative Design by Madison Smartt Bell

Ultimately you have to believe. If it is not real for you, you cannot talk about it persuasively. Because the writing of fiction is all about producing an illusion, it’s all-important that you believe in the illusion absolutely. You will never fool anyone else if you can’t fool yourself.

All the rest is craftsmanship.

Narrative Design is an interesting book. First of all it is a Textbook – a more formal tome designed to be used in a classroom setting to teach people how to write fiction.

I have bad memories of trying to learn to write in school. Bad enough to make me a chemist rather than a writer and bad enough that it took me twenty five years to write anything fictional after I graduated.

It also talks a lot about fiction workshops and about the Iowa Model of fiction workshops.

I’m not convinced that does any good at all.

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