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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stephen King on Moral Fiction

     I've written a lot of stories about desperate people in desperate situations, and it gets to the point where you say to yourself: Here's a guy who's building something in his garage. He's all by himself, and he's hammering a nail into the board and hits his thumb instead, and blood spurts out. Now, does this guy say, "Oh, pickles"? Use your imagination. In other words, what I'm talking about is telling the truth. Frank Norris, who wrote The Pit, McTeague, and other naturalistic novels that were banned said: "I don't fear; I don't apologize because I know in my heart that I never lied. I told the truth." And I think the real truth of fiction is that fiction is the truth; moral fiction is the truth inside the lie. And if you lie in your fiction, you are immoral and have no business writing at all.

Stephen King, Secret Windows: Essays and Fiction on the Craft of Writing, 2000

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