And why it isn’t pointless..
Recently, I was reliably informed by someone who will remain nameless, that they didn’t read fiction; that it had absolutely no point, and that it would not add anything to their life.
Their claim was that there are plenty of factual books out there, and that there was no need for fiction.
As a writer, I took this comment particularly personally. To the person that said it, it was probably nothing more than a throwaway comment, but it wasn’t for me. For me, it felt like, and indeed, it was, someone cutting down my first love.
The thing is that fiction and storytelling in general, have an incredibly important point to them. They allow us to convey things to some people, who might never read a non-fiction, or reference book about the subject.
Reading is so important, and fiction encourages this in a way the no non-fiction book can. Truthfully, it is far easier to get lost in a story than it is to get lost in the pages of information shown in a non fiction book.
This is not to say that I don’t see the value in non fiction, because I certainly do. I read both types of writing, and enjoy them both in different ways, and to varying degrees, but when it comes down to it, on a sunny afternoon, if I am to sit in the garden with a book, it is more likely to be a copy of a Harry Potter novel, than it is to be a book about productivity and sales management.
That’s the thing with fiction. It is, without a doubt, the most basic, and fundamental source of magic that there is, and if you haven’t managed to open a book, and look up five hours later, when it’s three o clock in the morning, then you simply haven’t worked out how to harness this magic.
As a writer, I am privileged enough to be able to wield this magic; to bend and shape it into a story, and this is what I truly love.
I imagine children at bedtime, asking their parents for just one more story. I imagine them slipping from their beds, right inside the story, until it is so real to them that they could reach out and touch the characters.
I think this is what adults have lost over their years on this earth. They lose the ability to see the magic in stories, and this is something that needs to be regained before they can even begin to see and appreciate the value and point of fiction.
So, I guess what I am saying, is that I pity the person that told me that fiction is pointless, because they are closing themselves off from whole other worlds, which would be open to them, if only they were to open a book, and read a story.
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Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.