An axiom is a maxim or aphorism whose truth is held to be self-evident. In logic an axiom is a premise accepted as true without the need of demonstration and is used in building an argument. (Handbook to Literature)
late 15th cent.: from French axiome or Latin axioma, from Greek axiōma ‘what is thought fitting,’ from axios ‘worthy.’ (New Oxford American)
Axiom Writing Exercise
What axiom does your main character hold? How might this axiom align with or challenge a reader’s preconceptions?
Choose a section you are currently writing and explore the main character’s axiom. Build a scene in which the main character’s focus is on this axiom and feels misunderstood by another character.
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A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.
“Cogito et Histoire de la Folie.” Jacques Derrida.
The Elements of Style. William Strunk.
New Oxford American Dictionary. Edited by Angus Stevenson and Christine A. Lindberg.
The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Martin Puchner, et al.
The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. Gideon Rosen and Alex Byrne.
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Patricia T. O’Conner
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.
Writing the Other. Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.