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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

In Fiction Are There Any New Ideas Left?

In a piece of fiction you have the freedom to make up anything. You have mermaids talking, people come back to life, misers turning into philanthropists, aliens arriving in flying saucers--all you have to do is write it down. And the trouble is, so many writers have. There have been so many ghost stories and haunted-object stories and guardian angel stories that it is hard to be fresh and original. Readers are quick to remember early incarnations and say, "Oh, that's like another story I read." A cliche is a cliche whether from this world or the next. 

Jerome Stern, Making Shapely Fiction, 1991

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