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The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

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Conclusion

You can read a novel or you can experience it. Experiencing it means feeling immersed, rapt, caught up in the spell of the story, as if what’s happening to the characters is happening to you. It’s not, of course. What you’re experiencing is actually happening inside your own mind and heart.

To achieve that effect on readers requires that you, the author, be immersed, rapt, caught up, and settled down in characters’ emotional lives as if they are your own. It demands being open, authentic, free of fear, unrestrained by genre requirements or the expectations of fans, critics, the publishing industry, or your own literary heritage and tribe. It calls for you to take positions and declare truths.

What is truth? In our postmodern age, we ...

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