Lest men suspect your tale to be untrue, Keep probability—some say—in view. But my advice to story-tellers is: Weigh out no gross of probabilities, Nor yet make diligent transcriptions of Known instances of virtue, crime or love. To forge a picture that will pass for true, Do conscientiously what liars do— Born liars, not the lesser sort that raid The mouths of others for their stock-in-trade: Assemble, first, all casual bits and scraps That may shake down into a world perhaps; People this world, by chance created so, With random persons whom you do not know— The teashop sort, or travelers in a train Seen once, guessed idly at, not seen again; Let the erratic course they steer surprise Their own and your own and your readers' eyes; Sigh then, or frown, but leave (as in despair) Motive and end and moral in the air; Nice contradiction between fact and fact Will make the whole read human and exact. –Robert Graves, Collected Poems, 1975