Why There's Truth In Fiction
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Why There's Truth In Fiction

Sometimes there's more truth in fiction rather than real life.

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Why There's Truth In Fiction
Photography by Lorna
“All writing is true and all writing is fiction. Is this possible?”

I’ve got to admit, the initial moment I read this phrase, it came across as an eternal contradictory brain teaser that absolutely made no sense at all. Afterwards, I spent several minutes freaking out in fetal position trying to figure it out. After composing myself as the young adult that I’m supposed to behave like, and looking at some quotes on Goodreads, I finally saw the light. Among those that were deeply enlightening, there were some such as: “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures." -Jessamyn West and "People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept." - Libba Bray. They made me comprehend two important ideas. One, all fiction is based on fact; and two, the reason why we still read fiction even though we know it’s not the truth.

When an author writes fiction, it is a way for them to convey their thoughts and experiences about the real world differently. It is a way to get into someone else’s shoes and perceive how he/she observes reality and processes it. The majority of writers use real life events in their lives as basis for their work. So in result, truth and fiction become one. Sometimes, only telling the truth is not enough in order to fully communicate a message. Writing in a fictional way lets us fantasize and explore how do we capture and recall events. We learn new things about ourselves via the use of fiction. Fiction is a way to express the truth, whether it’s what we think or what we are afraid to say out loud, without actually telling the truth in the first place.

There are many reasons why sometimes fiction is a way more enjoyable and personal reading experience than the truth. Fiction lets us relate to characters or situations in ways we could never do if it was a piece of nonfiction such as an article. Just ask yourself what would affect you more: Reading a news article about a refugee camp or a novel about a 12-year-old orphan boy struggling to live in a refugee camp? Of course, it would be the second option, but why? The reason is because we get to know about the boy’s interior mindset instead from a newspaper that barely knows what he could be feeling at all. We read in order to become open minded people and to understand others’ feelings and behaviors, as well as our own. We live through the adventures and journeys we read about and become a part of the story as well. Powerful stories and characters influence and shape us as human beings, establish what we value and cherish and guide us in our everyday decisions. How many times in your life had you thought: “Hmm… would this character do this?” and so on and so forth? Fiction creates the most impact in our lives and even though it only exists abstractly, it may be the most real thing we may experience. I think that it is a truth universally acknowledged, to say that we all find sanctuary from this world in fiction.

"Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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