I adore fiction. I always have. I wrote my first story at the age of nine, and I devoured books upon books from the library, booksellers like B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, and when I discovered my first Barnes and Noble I thought they would have to drag me out of there kicking and screaming because I never wanted to leave. ACRES of books. I discovered the (sadly defunct) Brandeis Used Book Sale which was an annual event, SEVEN CIRCUS TENTS full of used books – paperbacks, hardbacks, rare books, sets, books, magazines, books, tapes, DVDs, and did I mention books?
I love the smell of books. I love the feel of them. I love the novel as an art form. But above all, I love fiction because fiction allows you to tell Truth.
Which brings me to Professor Josip Novakovich. If you are a writer, or want to be, I urge you to wander through his book Fiction Writer’s Workshop and add it to your personal library. His pithy explanations of how to get to story will have you reaching for your pen.
But my favorite quote from the whole book, which is full of quote-worthy material, is this:
“You might want to become a non-fiction writer, and yet at every turn you distort things, exaggerate and embellish them, and even introduce characters, places and events that had nothing to do with the original material. In that case, you are a born fiction writer, which is much nicer than saying you are a born liar.”
Hoo-rah, baby. Yeah.