Fair Play


In writing novels as well as plays the cardinal rule is to treat the various characters as if they were chessmen, and not try to win the game by altering the rules; for instance, not move the knight as if it were a pawn, and so on. Again the characters ought to be strictly defined, and not put out of action in order to help the author to accomplish his purpose; for, on the contrary, it is through their activity alone he should try to win. Not to do this is to appeal to the miraculous, which is always unnatural.

The Reflections of [Georg Christoph] Lichtenberg, 1908