Why Do We Write Fiction? by Andy Ruffett
I don’t know if anyone is actually reading this, but I really hope they are. I feel I have some great stuff to share and I hope I’m not being read as too arrogant. But let’s move on.
Why do we write fiction? I think there are many reasons, but one pertains to the fact that when we write fiction we get to create the world of our choice. This is one reason. As a writer, I always throw in a part of me in everything I write and I will do the same here. Though, I may be more throwing myself out into the slaughterhouse. But hey, writers are weird; we express our emotions. Enough jabber, here I go:
In Creative Writing right now, the class has been assigned to read short stories of our peers in our group. So far, I haven’t found anything that I consider to be “bad writing,” though, I do believe that all writing is good anyway. The point is, I’ve read a few where people throw love into the story. Love is a prominent issue and is probably addressed in every story. Though, I could be wrong. Remember the Einstein quote:
“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
Anyway, what’s my point here? My point is, we all think of love whether we have it or not. In this sense, I’m talking about passionate relationships between a boy and a girl, or a boy and a boy, or a girl and a girl. I’m not going to get into transgenders. I’m not talking about love for your parents or friends. Though, love is important in all aspects. I’m not focusing on what you may call “family love” or “friend love.” I guess you could call this love “sexual attraction” - attraction to the opposite or same sex. If we have this love, well, as a writer, we may write about our loved ones. If not, we may write about our wish to be with “the one.” Petrarchan poems are all about the longing for the one you can’t have, but I’m not really addressing that. I’m more thinking about “dreaming” about that one who you haven’t met yet. Think of the Michael Bublé song: “Haven’t Met You Yet.” Is that Petrarchan? I don’t believe so.
In creating these stories, you get to decide what occurs. If you feel very negative, you may write a very negative end. If the story’s hopeful, well, it would be filled with hope. The feelings you express can affect the writing or the exact opposite. I find that when I read these love stories, so far the ones I’ve read, they end happy. But, sometimes it seems so easy. Within a story, it is. But it’s harder in real life. I think time and time again about “the one,” and I always wonder if I’ll ever find them. I don’t think about physical characteristics. I think more of just having fun and enjoying their company. Alright, you want me to really throw myself out there? I envision a slim body, but not unhealthy. Nothing cruel, I assure you. Ask me more questions and you’ll be dead. Well, not really.
I guess the real title for this article/curious essay is Why Do We Write Love Stories?
I believe it has to do with your feelings. I think, in order to write a great love story, we have to be playing the feelings we actually have; if we want to bring in that affection from the reader, that is. I relate to more teenage novels/young adult fiction because the characters are closer to my age. Not that those younger or older characters don’t seem real, they do, but I can’t relate to them as well. It’s what makes a good book: reaching your audience. Everyone can read it, but if you really want to capture the reader you’ve got to find a connection within the writing. With love, it could be heart-wrenching or very sweet. But if it’s bland, no one will feel connected. And I think readers can usually tell if the emotions in the story are fake, unless you’re very good at conveying the opposite. For that, I congratulate you. You can join T.S. Eliot. He believed that poetry should be written through characters not feelings. He creates characters and they have no relation to him whatsoever. Maybe not directly, but maybe there’s more meaning. I don’ t know and can’t exactly ask him. What am I getting at here? With fiction, you are constructing a fake reality, but in order to get readers involved, it has to contain realism. I’m not writing that fantasy should be scrapped, I’m saying that the characters need to be three dimensional.
But, what’s the main reason we write fiction?
To tell a story and share our ideas. And above all, to be creative.
Guest Blogger Bio
Andy Ruffett is a writer who lives in Toronto (Ontario, Canada). He is getting a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia. His focus is Creative Writing. In high school, he was lead editor at the school newspaper. He is a proficient editor and writer, and you can connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or his blog.