It seems like with each passing day reality feels more and more like nonsense. And there is nothing more that one can do but laugh at it all. I am reminded of a quote by a famous “doctor”:
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. — Dr. Seuss
As writers, fiction is an integral part of our lives. It is what allows us to escape our mundane or hellish realities by submerging us into worlds we have created. Worlds that are more romantic, satiric, mysterious, adventurous, fantastic, or horrific than our real lives. Yet, from our realities, our fiction is born. Each of us is writing to tell a story that has been influenced by something we have experienced. For some it may have been a song we once heard, others it may have been something we learned about in school, and for many our stories are shaped from personal histories.
Fiction exaggerates the realities of our individual situations. In a way, fiction writing is a coping mechanism by helping the author to deal his or her real life experiences. Authors write fiction as a means to make a statement and draw awareness to a needed change. Some may say that they are writing fiction because they just want to write a story. I kind of call “bull” on that. Fiction is written for a reason. There is meaning behind it. Deep down, within every fiction author there is an honest and burning desire to disseminate a message. The message may be personal or it may be something experienced by the masses, but the fact remains that there is a reason to this need to communicate that was influenced by something in the writer’s reality. Authors don’t just write stories to have stories. Authors write stories to bring awareness, to tell of something that is of great importance to them. Fiction is the author’s voice. Whether that voice is through humor, wonder, fear, anger, or happiness, the author is highlighting something in reality that needs to be regarded.
Dr. Seuss brilliantly accomplished this through humor. One of my favorite stories is The Lorax. In a colorful, whimsical, “Seussical” voice, Dr. Seuss addresses the true issues of deforestation and general disregard of nature. He shows the reader what the world will become if they don’t care for their habitat.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
All of his stories serve some kind of purpose, some kind of moral that was influenced by things he disagreed with in reality. And he targeted his message to children… the ones to stand to inherit our world’s future.
If you look at every work of fiction in existence, there is meaning behind each publication. The plot, settings, characters, dialog–there is a predetermined purpose behind it all. Some works of fiction have stranger reasons for being fabricated than others, and that reason may not be inherently obvious (e.g.; *grimace* Dinosaur Erotica). Yet, the fact remains that there was something in reality that influenced the author to craft a fictional story based off that experience. And the author wants to bring attention to that reality through their fiction.
So as you write your fiction, keep your reason for writing a specific story in the forefront of your mind.
And continue observing your reality through the wrong end of the telescope.