In his book On Bullshit Harry G. Frankfurt wrote, “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.”
Something magical happens when people are called upon to give information they don’t have: rather than admit the limits of their knowledge they give it the old college try. We all know what decisive conclusions sound like. We need not know what we’re talking about to draw them. So we riff to buy ourselves time until we stumble upon a point.
This article is going to explore this phenomenon, identify how it shows up in fiction writing, and what can be done to fix it so that would-be authors can seem like they actually know what they’re doing. Continue reading How to Keep Your Writing from Reading like a Bogus Essay Answer