Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Name Your Poison

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 30 Aug 2006

Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

And all the lame bleating about "But it happened in real life" doesn't impress me. To satisfy, fiction has to make some sort of sense; real life doesn't. Citing
"real life" to justify literary weaknesses and implausibilities just doesn't cut it -- it's often the last straw of writers who don't know how to craft believable characters.

************* You're on a roll. I especially like you "fiction has to make some sort of sense; real life doesn't." In real life a person is likely to do something with absolutely no possible motive ever revealed. That doesn't work in fiction, even if the postmoderns say it does. That's just one example.

I just read a book that deals with exactly these issues, Tim O'Brien's The Things We Carried. He's not subtle about it. He flat out says that it might have happened one way but that doesn't make a good story, and he even goes so far as to tell how he bends what was real into a story.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 Aug 2006 EDT