Fiction, on the other hand, gives the lesson through the story. It is not so direct that the reader automatically feels pinned by the author’s moral, but naturally draws him into the story and makes him feel the moral.
For example, if Harriet Beecher Stowe had written that slavery was the greatest evil of her day, only people who supported her conclusion would pick up the book and read it. Those who disagreed with her would know to put down the book after the first page. But when she chose a story, she made readers on both sides of the issue feel the anguish of slavery and weep for the characters and all that they represented.
Fiction is absorbed emotionally, and therefore is more memorable.
Let me put it this way: Nonfiction appeals to the intellect, while fiction appeals to the emotions. It is much easier to forget or discard an intellectual thought than it is to discard something that has moved you.
Consider this: How many nonfiction books do you remember from your childhood years? Honestly, I can’t think of a single one, other than my school textbooks, and I already forget what they were about. How many stories do you remember from your childhood? I remember dozens, some which were extremely influential.
Fiction presents a familiar concept in an unfamiliar way.
A final thought...
The very strengths that lend fiction its effectiveness are also the things that could make it extremely dangerous if the wrong lessons are taught. Fiction that glorifies risky or immoral behavior, or diminishes honorable or moral behavior, becomes a weapon against the reader and against society.
It behooves the author to be extremely conscientious about what lessons are being taught through his stories.
But, some may ask, must every story have a lesson? Can’t a story simply be entertaining? In answer to that, I would recommend that you read my post “Your Writing Reflects Your Worldview and Your Values.”
If you like something I wrote here, you are free to share/quote it with credit and a link back to the original page on my website.
Nonfiction has been defined by many as a narrative based on actual events and information. Unlike fiction, you must exert effort and time to explore the topic as all of the information presented in work must be verifiable if possible. A nonfiction writer is not just a writer. You become a researcher to dive deep into the topic, and you become a teacher to share your knowledge with the public.
2/12/2022 12:14:46 pm
8/17/2022 03:32:20 am
6/7/2022 09:47:24 am
Your statement, "Fiction appeals to emotion," is exactly why fiction is so dangerous. Emotion tends to lead people in all directions, and most often leads them to wrong conclusions. People in our so-called 'modern society' are so accustomed to fiction (movies, stories, et.al.) that they each concoct their own fictional narratives in which to exist. (e.g., America is the land of the free! You can be anything you want if you stick to your dreams! God loves you no matter what. Good boys and girls go to heaven. And on, and on!) Consequently, very few people want to hear fact! Facts too often conflict with their own fictional beliefs and behaviors.
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