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The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird

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Chapter Two

The Thirteen Essential Laws of Writing for Strangers

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not claiming to be Edmund Hillary, reaching a peak that has never been glimpsed before—hopefully you’re a lot smarter than me and this stuff has always been perfectly obvious to you. Primarily, these laws are intended as a sort of antivenom. I use them to flush poison out of my veins, and I offer them up to you in case you need the same cure.

You have to ask yourself why you’re doing this. If you’re only doing it to please yourself, then you’re guaranteed to succeed and guaranteed to fail. I promise that you will eventually satisfy yourself, but your end product will never satisfy anybody else. You may think you’re capable of holding yourself ...

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