Friday, June 23, 2017

The Best Part of Writing Fiction

The best part is making stuff up. To create something out of a figment that flits through your mind so fast that you squint to capture an image. Then take that image – and sometimes it’s just a feeling – and create characters and circumstance. That’s the most gratifying part of being a fiction writer. Exciting, too. It’s the part that pulls you into a zone where nothing else exists but your imagination. And if you’re lucky – and talented – you can pull the reader into that fictional world you created. Make it so real that they want to be friends with your characters and visit their hometown. Or (at this point my brow lifts and my mouth curves into a wicked smile), the reader will double-check the locks and sleep with a light on.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein, right? I don’t think he was talking about writing fiction but it works for me.
When I was a kid, my love of reading took me away from reality. The escape turned me into a daydreamer. That wasn’t such a bad thing. Not for me. Not then. I was constantly scolded. Told to get my nose out of the book and get outside and play. Seriously? Today I still love reading but have learned that being outside at the same time with balmy air breezing my face and the sound of water lapping against a shoreline is the ultimate escape. No better place to read. No better place to write. Give me nature and a laptop. Leave me alone to explore the undiscovered. To make stuff up.