To Understand Each Other

Why do you read fiction? If you are a writer, why do you write it?

I’ve subconsciously asked myself these questions over the last two months, since completing and sending my first fiction manuscript. Today is the day that I can realistically begin watching for an answer to my submission. (Ok, sometime between today and the first of next month.)

So, I ask these questions as self reflection and self protection. Self reflection because I want to know that my time spent writing is a valuable pursuit. Self-protection because I need to understand my own commitment to writing fiction, especially if I receive a rejection.

What do you think about these reasons for fiction? They come from Orson Scott Card’s book Characters and Viewpoint.

To give a better understanding of human nature
and human behavior than anyone can ever get in life.

To come to some understanding of why
other people act the way they do.

I’ve never used those words, but I agree with them. They do define my motivation. I’ve always known I write to understand. But, now I know I write fiction to understand people.

What about you? Why do you read fiction? If you are a writer, why do you write it?

1 Comment

  1. Minna Dyer
    Mar 2, 2010

    Wow, I never thought of fiction so deeply. I just read it as a get-away. Is that okay?

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