Posted by: rebeccae | June 23, 2010

Fiction and Publishing

When writers publish and or plan to publish, they want to have success.  Some writers will self-publish and some writers will traditonally publish, but in this case can one argue that fiction and publishing are something that go together as fact?  The fact is some people will look upon publishing fiction as the art of ‘fabrication.’  I believe that publishing fiction is a part of a different type of publishing, one that has a lot of potential. 

 Below is the email:
“I’m having trouble with the idea that fiction needs to have facts, it is fiction. I write non-fiction precisely because it is grounded in fact. Fiction does not ground itself in fact, it come from the imagination of the author. Fiction is written for the sole purpose to entertain and to make people find an escape. Non-fiction requires one to think.” ( email to me and other class members, September, 2008)

Now, I look at this email and think that there are some very good points to it, for one fiction is there to entertain, however I disagree strongly with the idea that people read fiction to be entertain and use it as form of escape. Some of the best fiction books that I read, also cause me to think about my life and the world around me. I would argue (and I did) that Gone with the Wind required a lot of research.

I worry that people who want to write fiction do not want to deal in facts. Of course I admit that for all of about 20 seconds, I did to, until I began to write. Then it was well, what about? what if? even with a pure fantasy book. I love writing in both fiction and non-fiction. I think both take research and time to develop.

Both require people to think. Even in non-fiction there is a sort of descriptive and visualization that comes from fiction. For example, The Last Days of Glory by Tony Rennell, uses this technique to show how Victorian London was like, using narrative non-fiction. Another one that is really good is John Shors, Beneath a Marble Sky, it made me think of all the possible outcomes of people who live their lives, but aren’t famous.

The goal for both types of writers, of both non-fiction and fiction is to write something that the public will enjoy and read. It may take a year, or more, but the focus is the goal of writing a great book, one that the author can be proud of.

There is not a good or bad thing about either form but to suggest –as this email did– that one is better than the other is wrong. Writers create and those that fabricate tend not to get published, or they don’t believe in their writing.
The Question is: Does this person have a legitimate point?



  1. I don’t think so. You can make up lots of stuff, plot and characters, but it has to be grounded in reality. That is, grounded in facts, otherwise it is not really believeable. This goes double for fantasy and science fiction. If that makes sense.

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