Eleven Thoughts on Fiction

1. “Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.” — Jessamyn West

2. “Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.” — Frederic Raphael

3. “Fiction’s about what it is to be a human being.” — David Foster Wallace

4. “First-rate fiction lays hands on the reader, to heal him or rough him up or, ideally, to do both.” — Ellen Currie

5. “The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense, whereas reality never makes sense.” — Aldous Huxley

6. “Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.” — V.S. Pritchett

7. “Character is the very life of fiction. Setting exists so that the character has someplace to stand. Plot exists so the character can discover what he is really like, forcing the character to choice and action. And theme exists only to make the character stand up and be somebody.” — John Gardner

8. “In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.” — Ben Bova

9. “Basically, fiction is people. You can’t write fiction about ideas.” — Theodore Sturgeon

10. “Structure is the key to narrative. These are the crucial questions any storyteller must answer: Where does it begin? Where does the beginning start to end and the middle begin? Where does the middle start to end and the end begin?” — Nora Ephron

11. “Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” — Stephen King

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