Advice to a Young Writer of Fiction

The secret, she said,
with a wink

is to remember that this world is yours:

how
does the protagonist emerge
and what
has he gained
and what
has he won

that is up to you,

and it does not matter

how strange the setting
how twisty the plot
how odd the character
how silly the events

you can take us anywhere

as long as you can see it
as long as you can feel it
as long as you believe it

and we will be along for the ride.

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2 Responses to “Advice to a Young Writer of Fiction”

  1. Fran Haley Says:

    Ah – so true. When I was co-teaching a fantasy-writing unit in 5th grade, I told the kids that even the magic stuff had to be believable … once you create the world, you don’t break the rules of it.

    Excellent post to use in writing units of fiction AND poetry.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes! Which is why I get testy when kids tell me the whole story is a dream. I’m just thinking, commit! I promise we’ll believe you!

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