On Writing

The Good Writers are Liars

A young woman sits across the courtyard from me. I don’t know what she is thinking. She could be examining the pitfalls of a date, wishing for a new pair of shoes, dreaming about a world trip, or worrying about how to pay rent. I don’t know. But I can imagine.

The best writers fill in the blanks.

What would a protagonist do if they happened to be a young Korean girl who just found out she is going blind? She may have ticks, or habits, or peculiar ways of doing things. Those details certainly will add to the milieu, the setting, or the way she goes about her day. Deeper, how will she struggle or triumph despite her blindness? I know how I would react if I suddenly found myself blind! And I imagine, it will not be too hard to tell my reader about my feelings.

That’s why a story generator only provides a character, a plot, and an ending; we must fill in the blanks with anything that will fill the senses. The best writers know how to tell a story, which most of the time requires making it up. The good writers are simply good liars; they know how to embellish a story so you will never find them out.

© 2017, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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