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August 05 , 2008


How Illusions, Confidence Games, and Skillful Lying can Improve Your Fiction


In terms of objective reality, a work of fiction is an elaborate lie. No writer thinks of themselves as a liar simply because they write fiction, but that’s the fact of the matter. And no other writing guide will admit to teaching you to be a better writer by showing you how to be a better liar—at least in a narrative sense.

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Artisan Publishing

Electronic publishing has upset the equilibrium enjoyed by the publishing industry for the last half-century. While some celebrate the overthrow of the gate-keeping elite and the democratization of publishing, others lament the end of literary culture.Beneath the enthusiasm and the angst, a new market has opened as commercial publishers abandon…

A good lie rings true. Verisimilitude, or the appearance of truth, is critical in a novel because readers open the book knowing it is fiction. Their willingness to suspend disbelief is like a house of cards—if you make one wrong narrative move the illusion of truth falls apart.

This volume looks at the ways in which you can break the illusion in your writing and how to avoid them; it explores what you can do to increase the degree of verisimilitude in your stories; and shows why less really is more. You will learn how to satisfy readers with strategic detail, reassure them you know what you’re talking about, and convince them they can trust you as a storyteller.

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