How to write fiction

How to write fiction: imagenless guide

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               Shall we stop being distracted with this question of History versus Story? We have the History in capital letters, busy with the domain of “real” events and the stories. Invented or imagined things that never happened, right?

               Isaac Asimov said that the worth of a sci-fi plot is not the invented technology in it — as a matter of fact, it rarely undestands the new technology since they are not inventing it, they’re only imagining it[1]. According to him, its worth is to imagine the consequences of such technology in the future.

                He referred to a tale in which a vehicle without horses was invented; causing jams in the not-projected-for-this-technology streets. Plus where to leave the vehicle when it wasn’t used, hadn’t being taken into account or the massive amount of the vehicles that would exist.

               That’s right, we’re talking of the automobile. And the worth of the story goes in its ability to predict its social consequences. I mean, to suppose automobiles will cause traffic and there will never be enough parking lots to supply the demand.

It is with this tiny example that I dare to say that fiction is real — within a set of limits (specifically, the imagination) —from a mental simulation of patterns, people, facts or desires.

Real? Yes. If a story can’t be conceived as real within the simulation, it fails. Even the ones in a real place as stage, based upon the news or a serious historical novel; can only exist inside the frame of simulation or supposition. No one can 100% really  declare they know what was happening in Henry VIII’s head when he decided to become protestant —did he really only want to get a divorce from the ugly old wife? Not even looking at the documents or reading his diary (had he one?). Not even watching a video is 100% infallible, since it won’t show everything (remember there is a limited camera angle) and there are micro discrepancies of nanoseconds between what happens and what is being recorded. We can’t really declare a taken video is the absolute “reality”.

A story is a game. A game in which we believe to the author.On the other side, how many times have we rejected a story we couldn’t deem ”believable”?  As something THAT doesn’t work as real within its frame. A story is a game. A game inside which we believe what the author says.

When we were children we played. And we believed the small rock bundle a castle and the dog to our side the wolf to gulp us down. As adults we willingly submit ourselves to this game of reading/watching and think that what the author says is real (inside the simulation) When an author is incapable of making us to believe that what they say is true, our interest disappears regarding the story as a fake one. Don’t you read Dracula[2] believing the vampire truly exists? Once the book lies resting on the coffee table or the bookshelf, we go back to our everyday attitude of critical thinkers. At least I do, cause I like the supernatural as a nice idea of what is impossible.

Next entries I will review:

  1. Understand the basic mistakes of fiction
  2. Prepare yourself to write fiction
  3. Write your fiction piece
  4. Review

Today, this is it. To speak of History and reality have left me dust made. My hamster brain energically squeaks in protest because they’re doing extra time.

Can you comment? Comments are the fuel to this blog!

[1] New couple of words to differentiate….sigh.

[2] In the original entry I mention The Dumas club by Perez Reverte to say we read it believing the devil exists to leave the book and go back to our atheist (I’m one) consciousness.

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