What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think about fiction? Do you suppose something that is so often described as untrue can actually live in reality? Sometimes fiction is funny, and other times it’s more fickle than you’d like. But, if there is one thing you should know about fiction, it’s that it is not always as much of a lie as you might think.
When you’re reading fiction, there might be times where you have to stop because you’ve found yourself in those pages. Seeing yourself there might be scary because maybe it reveals too much. As exciting and rewarding and truly beautiful as writing can be, sometimes words are terrifying.
There is something to be said about the fact that one word after another creates an entire story. Inside that story are places populated with people. There are worlds that may live for years inside one person, and that person is a writer — someone who shares words hoping that the characters will be understood. Maybe they even hope that they will eventually be understood by you. Because otherwise, what is the point of writing?
When you look back at your favorite stories — those fictional tales that have stayed with you long after the story is through — what do you remember? Do you know why those stories are the ones that have stayed with you? Can you see those true moments that give structure to worlds that might crumble without the realness of life?
We sacrifice the beauty of writing if we don’t let it inhabit some part of us. If you don’t live in the words that flow from those writers, they can never be what they need to be. Words and stories are just as fragile as hearts and people. We need to give them the support of ourselves to let them be whole.
Sometimes the idea of empty spaces, of galaxies far and wide, of black holes and ocean waves and blank pages feel like nothing, and those thoughts can consume you and the rest of us, too — writer and reader and the keepers of other things. Maybe if we fill ourselves with hope or light or belief, then we can fill the idea of nothing with the possibility of everything. Maybe then you will see that fiction can fill those spaces. Fiction can be true.