Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reality vs Fiction

Recently, I started reading "The Fault In Our Stars". I love it. It sounds like a depressing book because it's about teenagers who are dying of cancer. It is depressing, but not so sad that it's difficult to read because the author knew how to pull off the subject well.

The characters seem so deep and real to me that I immediately thought,"The author must have known someone who had cancer as a teenager or gone through cancer himself." I found out later that indeed, he had worked with young cancer patients. So in order to tell us a fictional story, he had to add a bit of truth in there from his own life experiences. That made his story seem more real to me.

It just made me think of the contradictions that exist in writing.

Like, that we work so hard to make our writing so easy to read. In fact, authors are so notoriously good at making writing seem easy, it's why most people don't realize how hard it is to write a book until they give it a try for the first time. I can't count how many times I've heard people say that they could write a better book than an author they hate. I would never say that! I know how difficult it is to write even a "terrible" book!

Another one is how we often make up these stories, which are basically lies (because they aren't real, but we are trying to make them seem real), in order to share with you truths about how we view the world. There are many famous religious figures who have taught people through stories. Because when you tell them your opinion directly, it can be more offensive than illustrating it with a hypothetical story. Hypothetical stories cause readers to think and draw their own conclusions even if you guided them there. And it gives a situation in which the truth you are trying to express is being applied to real life.