Why We Could Never Abandon Fiction

Fiction is probably the only substance more prominent in a writer’s veins than alcohol and caffeine, and trust me when I say that’s no small thing.


‘Cause we’re basically an inflated balloon of the three combined. There’s actually a scientific formula for that which keeps us functioning, but I’ve never been one for numbers. Not enough and we look like a skeleton draped in skin, too much and we… 

Well I don't know if that’s ever happened, but I imagine we would go something like POP! and then there’d be writer bits everywhere, the occasional string of lost words, and it’d all be quite gross. But again I think that is in itself fiction since through a mighty blessing of evolution, the writing branch of humans are ironically graced with rather resilient livers. 

I’ve always said that turtles have shells, and writers have livers that can box until the twelfth round. 

What a wonderful world. 

But alas fiction is not limited to the balloon-like writers of this world! In factuality nor is it limited to all the wonderful (and much saner) readers! Despite the strangely vast amount of people that say they don't read (some even with a confounding pride as though it’s an accomplishment) fiction does truly course through each and every one of us! And it’s a good thing to, because life otherwise would be insufferably dull. 

But strike those fearful nightmares from your mind because fiction will only die when we do, and maybe not even then! 

Now to provide you with some basis to this maddening ramble I will say this: fiction is at the heart of all enjoyment. I’ve said similar things in the ghosts of post's past, but here I believe it’s rather more relevant. 

Think of something you enjoy.

Maybe it’s reading, but there the connection is blatantly obvious. Maybe it’s TV or films, but there the connection should be blatantly obvious as well. 

So let’s look a little deeper, shall we?

Maybe you (bizarrely) enjoy running. You know that thing some people do with their legs? Perhaps it is to you what one part coffee and three parts Bailies is to me, a love. If so you may be thinking: where is the fiction in my funny leg-moving-thing. Well, let me throw some stuff at you (that you could surely dodge as the pinnacle of athleticism you are). 

You probably listen to music. In fact you must, because to do otherwise is exactly torture. So let’s assume you do. In which case, you are listening to fiction in it’s most common lyrical form. Yes, fiction. 

But surely Taylor Swift has a blank space for my name, you cry? That cannot be fiction!

Well… I suppose not. But I can tell you she doesn't know you are in fact trouble.

Get it? 

Because if you’re reading this you’re probably a writer (and you’re crazy)? 

Get it?


*Adjusts tie* 

*Checks watch*


*Screams crazily*

*Bows, then leaves*

*Returns as though nothing just happened*

That’s all to say that songs are almost always a form of fiction. Yes, some may be vaguely based of a memory or some sentimentality or another, but it doesn't often stay that way. 

In another light when you’re rubbing… no, ruling… ruhhhhhing? no no that wasn't it either…


Yes, that.

When you’re running (I assume at least as my legs haven't moved in two decades) your mind also tends to wander. It goes to places (again, an assumption on my part as I’m more fused with this desk-chair than not) where you imagine up your own stories. Maybe you think about family or an upcoming party or something, but the more likely scenario is that you daydream like the other 99% of us. You daydream a whole wide wacky variety of things.

And thus fall victim to fiction once more. So take that ruhhhhhers or whatever! Even you cannot escape fiction, no matter how fast you flap your legs!

(Again, I’m not quite sure how it works)

Let’s go look at it in another angle now. 

What else do you crazies enjoy doing? Besides burrowing in pages and all that. There’s that thing with the ball and stick and the feet… sports is it? 

Well where is the fiction in sports? 

You may have to stretch your mind here a little on this one but bear with me, please. 

In a way each ‘sports’ game is just like a story. There’s a beginning, middle and an end. There’s a bunch of protagonists and antagonists (that basically depend on where you live as I understand it). There’s different angles and views, there’s action and often drama, there’s a rise and fall, there’s a winner and loser.

So is it not just a distant cousin of the literary story? And maybe that’s not necessarily fiction, but again, in a way it is. I suppose it really depends on how you look at it, and being absolutely crazy let’s me see all kinds of cool things.

*Begins gesturing wildly around at nothing in particular*

There is much more to fiction than a simple Sunday night game, or song or even novel. 

Fiction is at the heart of who we are as a species. We were storytellers before we were builders, before we were (perhaps a little ironically?) even linguists. Even today it’s a trait we unknowingly reward more than we do anything else. 

Ever wonder why we throw so much money at actors (or why they gather so much fame) when a sheetmetal worker, or an engineer or a teacher make a rather frightening fraction of that? Well it’s because in this world we hold storytellers above all the rest, even though most don't really see it that way. 

Of course most writers struggle to keep afloat (like yours truly, still slowly morphing with this damn chair) but that’s because people today prefer their fiction on a screen. Not all, obviously, but enough. 

But though that may sound like a bad thing, I don't think it necessarily is. We love stories, and who says we have to get them in only one way? I love books, but I love movies too! There’s undoubtedly an art to both, and although I prefer one over the other, there’s no shame in appreciating both. 

This is to say fiction is too ingrained into who we are to abandon it, and not enough people realize how deep it truly goes. It’s got a hand in almost everything we do from that ruhhing thing…

Ah, I give up. 

From that leg thing to the stick and ball thing, and all the nice and blissfully simple novels in-between.

What do you think?

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