Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fabulous Fiction

My friend Karlee and I have this little debate sometimes about which is better: fiction or non-fiction.

And tonight, when Dave and I watched the quirky comedy The Invention of Lying, I really thought about the real differences between the two genres.

Non-fiction is straightforward, clean. It tells us what to believe. There's no wrong, no mess, no controversy.

Fiction, on the other hand, uses the higher-order thinking skills that Benjamin Bloom defined and categorized over 70 years ago: interpretation, evaluation, analysis. With fiction, we are pushed to wonder, to question. We react emotionally. We feel. We make it personal.

Fiction is created. It takes imagination and some serious hard work to produce.

It is exaggerative, enhanced with stylistic devices like metaphor, hyperbole, and setting. It welcomes ownership and debate; promotes thought; and fills the human need to study, to understand.

To me, this is what reading is all about--when the actual reading itself is secondary to the interpretation and emotion and discussion that comes from it. To not have truth all spelled out, but to find it for myself.

2 comments:

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

First, please excuse my spelling...

I love it when books make me delve into my emotions and thought processes searching for the bigger pictures in my life and in the world. I love it when they have real history in them and I can see and feel a connection. I guess that's the biggest thing for me in writing and in life: feeling a connection.

I hope that you are enjoying your last few days of summer. Sorry I haven't been a good blogger over the summer. Iowa has had a lot of rain and a good portion of it ended up in our basement. UGH!

Indigo said...

You nailed down the differences perfectly. Fiction dares you to step out of the box of convention thinking, to believe...(Hugs)Indigo