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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fiction

Last week I went back for the first time in a couple of years to my writing class. I believe I shared here with you that I had decided I needed to inject a little more discipline into my life and that registering for an actual class would do that for me. As in years past the evenings I have available have lots more to do with which topic I pursue than any other great desire to learn this or that or to practise one skill over another. So this year it was Thursday that was available, so fiction it is!

Of course the first evening there is the predictable go-round when each person shares why they’ve elected to learn more about (in this case) writing fiction and I share that I have been thrust into this class because it’s Thursday and I can actually complete the whole series and only miss a single class. Ergo: fiction it is!

Given all that background, however, I am really quite pleased to be spending the next twelve weeks considering, reading, thinking about, discussing and even writing some fiction.

I recall once listening to a panel of writers discussing the merits of fiction vs. non-fiction. I believe it was Ray Robertson who claimed to have given up the writing of non-fiction because he realized he had only limited time left to write anything and since he wanted only to write “Truth” he would only write fiction for the rest of his life. After much chuckling, the rest of the panelists all agreed with him that “truth” was a much closer synonym for “real fiction” than anything else they could think of. If I’m into the discipline of fiction, I really have to agree with them.

My reading practices over my lifetime have not been entirely consistent. During some times I’ve read mostly fiction; at other times—usually prescribed by study—I’ve focused more on various types of non-fiction. I realize that it’s easy to fall into a reading habit that takes me into a particular genre at the expense of other areas I don’t really want to neglect. And reading good fiction is one of those types of reading not to be neglected. I think the reason I appreciate it so much is the very fact that it tends to bring those deep truths to mind that those writers were alluding to. Truths about love and relationships, about life and the complexities of living, solving problems, setting priorities, articulating values somehow find their way into and out of works of fiction.

Another writer suggests that reading fiction tends to make her more empathic and compassionate and cites a study to that effect. I agree this too is a noble goal.

Those of you reading this blog are well aware that I write lots of words, some of them you’ve read—and many more you haven’t. Over the next twelve weeks I shall be spending some disciplined time thinking about, and perhaps writing some fiction. I suspect there will be fallout of this practice showing up in this blog.

If you’d like to share your own experience with reading or writing fiction or if you have thoughts as to how truth is or is not expressed in what you’re reading, I’d love to have you join me in my quest.

Posted by Marion

2 comments:

  1. I too read many genres but I have to agree with whomever said, "fiction illumines the human condition". I am also partial to Jane Austen which has led me to the Regency period of English history which I find so fascinating that I think I may have lived there in another life. I do have to always have a book or two or three on the go and to find a good book of fiction is the supreme pleasure for me.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I love your quote and concur with that writer too.
    Fiction does tend to send me in various directions as well. I look forward following many more of those leads in future.

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