Why Fiction?


Last month I made an unusual New Year’s resolution for someone as widely-read as myself: It was to read less. It’s been a challenge limiting my book intake in order to focus on my writing.

So in honor of my resolution to spend less time reading, I have to be even more selective of the books I do read than I ever have been before.

I’m having to put aside my beloved history and biography books for a while to focus on fiction to help shape my own writing, but in the realm of fiction, there’s still so much to choose from.

Here’s a list of reasons fiction is good for not just writers such as myself, but for everyone.

1) Fiction can help shape or break a worldview

Oftentimes an author will write about a certain topic because they’re passionate about it. And more often than not, that topic will be explored from every angle from a singular point of view. For instance, if you read the book Unwind by Shusterman, it may cause you to realize the horrors of abortion. The Jungle by Sinclair has been known to convince many people to become vegetarians.

2) Fiction can help you understand or acknowledge certain worldviews 

There are many belief-systems out there – hundreds that we’re not even aware of, and authors tend to be the leading voices for these hidden beliefs. We ought to know about the world we inhabit so that we can engage in intelligent, thoughtful conversations with those around us who subscribe to the surrounding belief-systems.

3) Fiction can spark your imagination

This one seems obvious. But what is the first thing you thought of when you saw a book with the cover of a boy and a tiger in a lifeboat in the middle of the sea? My thought, as an author myself, was, Why didn’t I think of that! Just look at what The Lord of the Rings did for the fantasy world, and what Jurassic Park did for sci-fi and mainstream movies in general.

4) Contemporary fiction can help you write to today’s audiences

“I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading,” says writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I think we all do that. When I only read classic literature, I wrote just like it (or tired to, anyway), but much to my detriment (there’s not really an audience for that anymore). So with the help of popular fiction like The Hunger Games, I learned to write with a more popular and modern prose.

Check out an excerpt of my upcoming teen novel These Great Affects, here.  And as a reminder, for every ten people that join my Facebook author page, I’ll reveal more of the book…


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

25 Responses to Why Fiction?

  1. bearmansglee says:

    This is very important. It shows that fiction is not just pretty stories to pass our leisure time but that it does take an influence on reality by shaping the way we experience the world around us.

  2. Story is one of the most powerful communicators of Life lessons.

  3. Reblogged this on Lillie-Put and commented:
    Why we need to read fiction.

  4. I was going to say “No, read more” but as I read through I understood better =D

  5. Hope your work becomes widely read and appreciated 🙂 Good luck 🙂

  6. mjmsprt40 says:

    From what I’ve read elsewhere, fiction trains your brain in a way that true stories never do. When you write fiction, the story has to make sense or you’ll lose the reader. The truth doesn’t give a rip about being plausible, it just is what it is.

  7. Val_ToWriter says:

    As a retired teacher, and avid reader, I really appreciate how young adult novels can bring history, in particular, to life. I can name three at the moment which are outstanding for curriculum support (and a great read): Code Talkers, 1793: Fever, and The Hidden Room. In Fever, Laurie Anderson does what so many aspiring writers are told to do: she uses all the reader’s senses to convey her story. There are a lot of outstanding young adult novels out there — many of which can be enjoyed by adult readers, too.

  8. dawnlizjones says:

    My husband, Bob, has said that his goal as a fiction writer is to “create an intellectual space in which other people would want to live until something real catches up with them.” And of course, there’s CS Lewis’ more specific concept of “smuggled theology” in his writings. Thanks for this!

  9. Ann Cuddy says:

    Reblogged this on Saved Because of His Mercy and commented:
    I’ve taken the same step as this writer this year… not in an effort to focus on my writing, but in order just to focus. I love to read… and I find that other things, things that I want to say were getting lost. Hence, the new blog and less…. but more choosy titles on this blog.

  10. Oceane says:

    I really appreciated this post…many serious readers are quick to criticize fiction but aside from an enjoyable read, it certainly allows you to discover new ideas as much as a non-fiction book would.

  11. jakepackham says:

    I know what you mean about other styles influencing your own. I wrote a review recently that came out ridiculously similar to the reviewed book.


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