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The Purpose of Fiction

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Oct 23, 2013 5:52:37 AM

What is the purpose of fiction? When you get down to it, fiction is nothing more than a collection of imaginary events experienced by imaginary characters in imaginary worlds. Why does the concept of fictional stories even exist? On the surface, it could seem completely unnecessary.


But we tend to dig deeper around here. Fiction is more than important for any culture; it is essential. Beyond the escapist aspect and the entertainment value, there is something far more valuable that fiction gives us - the opportunity to experience the possibility of other choices without actually making those choices. In a romance novel, a woman might follow her heart and marry a man she loves instead of a man with riches beyond her wildest dreams. We experience the blessings and consequences of that choice. In a science-fiction novel, a scientist might discover a cure for a deadly disease but hide the fact that his cure turns everyone into psychopaths. We experience the treasures and destruction his cure brings.


Fiction is much more intimate than virtual reality. It is an inner-reality that gives readers the opportunity to delve into emotions and face the thrill and anxiety of those emotions on the wild little electrical surges in their brains. They process the emotions and discover something about themselves in the process.


Writers of fiction do more than entertain or educate; they help readers learn about themselves. Novels throughout the ages have been fictional "what-ifs" that have shaped not just the outer world but the inner world as well. That is the true purpose of fiction.


-Richard Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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17,870 Views Tags: books, authors, writers, fiction, writing_process, craft, audience

Oct 23, 2013 9:17 AM Ninian    says:

Fiction is the modern version of folklore that existed before people learned to write. We need it in our lives, not just to entertain or educate but to give us a chance to get out of our own lives for a spell and live another life.


Fiction writers can't help themsleves because, if they don't get things down on paper, the stories floating around in their heads would drive them bananas. Unfortunately, once they get one story on paper, another one pops up. Thanks be.