Monday, February 25, 2008
The First Rule of Fiction
In one of my recent fiction workshops, one student gave another a story critique that began, "I get the impression that you don't want to hurt these people, which is problematic since the first rule of fiction is to do the worst possible thing to your characters and see how they handle it."
The critique continues, describing how things could be much worse for the particular characters in this story. The critic concludes with the memorable line, "Go ahead and hurt them -- that's what they're for."
Ah, writers. We're a bloodthirsty bunch!
(And yes, that really is the first rule of fiction, or at least in the top ten.)