“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
This famous quote has pushed many an aspiring writer to improve their work. It is a perennial piece of writing advice, simply because it’s true: you can’t impart on others what you don’t feel yourself. Even a liar must be convinced of his own lie if he is to persuade others to believe it. And what are fiction writers but professional liars?
A convincing story is delightful because it feels real. But that conviction comes at a price – for both the writer and the reader.