"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." --Albert Einstein
What is Fiction?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it this way:
"Definition of Fiction
1a : something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically: an invented story
b : fictitious literature (such as novels or short stories)
c : a work of fiction; especially : novel
2a : an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth
b : a useful illusion or pretense
3: the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination"
Writing fiction is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Sometimes as I'm writing, my heart pounds while my hands race across as the keys. There is a feeling of pure euphoria that washes over me while creating something from my imagination alone.
In the middle of world-building, even when I'm not actively writing, the multitude of directions the story might go saturates my mind.
Throughout the day at work, performing everyday routines, or laying in bed at night, all the possibilities are constantly running through my brain.
Occasionally, the details of reality bog me down...and I lose sight of my imaginings. It is then that I have to remind myself that this is my world, and in it I can do anything I want.
In my current work in progress, part of the story is set at our small cabin in the Pocono mountains. Just the other day, I was asking my husband details about the water system so I could describe it just right. The storyline just wasn't going the way I wanted, and I began to get discouraged.
It hit me in a flash. Just because I'm basing the novel on a certain place does not mean it has to be exactly the same. I can change the setting to suit the story. So I re-routed the piping system in the story to make it work.
(If only problems could be solved as easily in real life!)
As a young girl, I was fascinated by characters with 'powers'. After watching Disney's Escape To Witch Mountain, I tried for hours to move objects with my mind.
As far as I know, I was unsuccessful.
I wanted more than anything to have a superpower.
Now, I make them up.
Yes, fiction writers have a 'power'. Well, at least in our minds we do.
We can lay claim to the 'superpower' of inventing new things, creating new places, and even giving life to new characters.
I spend countless amounts of time staring off into space just thinking. Concocting all sorts of things. Weapons. Automobiles. Parallel worlds. Protagonists. Antagonists. Background. Setting.
I don't have to prove any of it exists. I don't even have to know all the technical information involved.
All I have to do is effectively explain why it makes sense within the boundaries of my story.
"A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist." --Vladmir Nabokov
That has to be one of the easiest jobs in the world. Let your imagination take you away...and then write about it!
As a preschool teacher, I encourage my students to use their imaginations all the time. Hopefully, they will hold on to that ability as they get older.
But the truth is, no matter how active a writer's imagination is, it is the reader who needs to keep reading and relate to the story.
Without the reader's imagination, the tale falls flat.
If a reader can't picture in his mind the setting, characters, descriptions ... then it's a failure.
The ultimate goal of a writer is to stimulate the imagination of others.
It only begins in the imagination of the writer. Stephen King once said, "Description begins in the writers imagination. But it should finish in the readers."
The real superhero is the reader.
I want to thank all of the avid readers who make it possible for dragons to fly, magic to exist, and dimensions to travel.
Thank you for the miracles, the happy endings, and the twists that become real.
All because you believe.
Without your imagination, none of these things would ever exist.
You are the ones with the superpowers.
Keep dreaming, and never lose your youthful spirit and imagination!
"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one." -- John Lennon, Imagine
Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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