Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fiction And It's Purposes

Amid the busy Christmas holiday season, I began to think about purposes and the evolution of story. In the beginning stories were word of mouth, told by a person and carried along through the years. Families' histories were told that way--grandparents telling their grandchildren--and thus the stories traveled through time and lived. From the time of the printing press, history left the pens of the scribes and were put into the press to make even a large impact on more people.

For years we've taken books for granted, and now they are moving from paper to cyberspace in digital format. Exciting and scary too. Yet no matter how the story is delivered, fiction brings with it a number of purposes that, as writers, we should remember and use them to serve the telling of our story as well as the receiving by our readers.

First fiction is to entertain. Fiction takes us away from our everyday lives, lifts us from the mundane and allows us to walk paths we might never have experienced. It captures us and lightens the burdens of our individual struggles. It becomes a playground for our mind and refreshes us.

Next fiction helps us connect with others. Through stories, we experience emotions and face new adventures. We realize that we are not alone in our trials or in our joys. Many others have the same feelings, the same issues, the same problems. The novel strips apart our troubles, and we can sit back and watch others resolve issues we've dealt with for years. In reader mail, I've heard from many who have indicated that one of my novels provided the reader with a road map to begin their own resolves. That message makes all the work worthwhile for a novelist.

Third fiction helps us understand our world. Whether historical or contemporary fiction, patterns emerge: the seasons, life to death, sorrow to joy, hopeless to hope. We can look at history and realize how it affects us today. We can look at issues today and see how it was also part of our history. Our past makes us who we are today. We can look at prejudice and bias, economic turmoil and financial security, the impossible to the possible, and we grow in seeing our world and our history for what it is.

Finally fiction offers us a new look at life. We can learn how to face differences and change. One time years ago, Huxley's Brave New World and Orwell's 1984 were novels that were considered science fiction. Today we face many truths that those stories offered. Big brother is watching you.  Today we know that our government and individuals have their fingers on our pulse through data gathered in cyberspace. What we thought was impossible is not only possible but now passe.

Fiction serves a purpose for all readers to broaden our scope to the world, to others, to our emotions and trials, and to our abilities to deal with change and differences, but first of all, fiction is to entertain.  We can never forget that.


Anonymous said...

I agree that the purpose of a story remains unchanged regardless how its published. I am currently writing a anime fictional story.

"High in the eastern mountains between Kassi and Kashi, Kur is a land of black, salt mountains filled with oil. The divan, a five-member council rules Kur with an iron hand.

The Makuya are foreigners from the distant land of Tabor that live in Kur. The Makuya bear most of the burden as working in the oil mines and paying the highest taxes" (Adelai Silver, https://www.genxanime.blogspot.com).

The story's characters represent what if they were taken from their own world and dropped into a land like Kur. How would they respond to this event?

These post serves as a reminder to me no matter how a story is published, the purpose remains unchanged.

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh, I like this post. A lovely reminder of why I write fiction.

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Yes, Adelai - a story is a story no matter if it's word of mouth, scribed on papyraus, printed on paper or written on the Cyberspace clouds. Wishing you blessings with your work.


Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Shelia - Glad you enjoyed the short article. Sometimes we need reminders especially when we're under stress with deadlines and life.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Shelia. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Gail, Thank you so much for commenting on my post.

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