The Art of Fiction



Fiction is timeless. Fiction indirectly tells the truth. That is why fiction is relevant. It does not offend . In good fiction, there is a subtle garb.

Thousand and one nights is pure fiction. So nobody is offended. Instead it saves a population. In Poe, the story is more fact than fiction and the king is deluded. He could not enjoy it, So the end of the storyteller. If somebody asks you if you are a good woman /man and in case, you are a good woman/man and tells that you are a good woman(man), people will be offended. They will mock you or throw stones upon you. So you do a good action. And better tell it indirectly or by parable, so that people are not offended. You can criticise people in parables. Writers have done it and have escaped. But some facts in the fiction juts out and people take it as a breach. Since nobody is authorized to judge another, you can reveal certain things, that is in you, in another, it is the same thing, the precious human mind. So it is relevant. To judge. No. It is not anybody’s business. Especially not a writer. If a writer judges, he is in trouble. It has happened. He has to stop writing and do some other job for a living. We cannot judge anybody correctly. The weapon that is pointed on the other has another side against oneself. So it injures, both, the writer as well as the reader. So judgement is not the way of fiction. Perhaps in a treatise, it may be relevant. But one has to edit that tract from time to time, as values and standards and laws and cultural differences are many and evolving. Nobody can tell ultimately that eating with both hands is shoddy. We cannot even say that hitting your mother is a bad thing. Because all the mother hitters will make your life miserable. Some mother hitters even think that they are doing a virtuous act. So the writer can only portray them. Then the mother hitter will tell that such and such a writer has written a nice or bad fable about their daily trade. But slowly the poison/medicine may disseminate without them knowing. Some mother hitters will stop hitting their only mother because that writer had succeeded in his work. Mostly the mother hitters do not grasp that the account is about them. Even when they know it, they savour the story. They may think that they have got a reprieve. That is the victory of the author. He wants the parent hitters to read it and when they hit her next time, their hands will tend to be macilent or weak because the story has crossed his nerves. The writer tells the posterior tale exposing the whole process of that movement, the behind the view emotions of the event. Some of them have witnessed that or done that. So she knows better, she had felt or was in the crucible and luckily escaped the dying heat. So that writer is a valuable member of the society she lives in. And again, some stories should be written by everybody because it is therapeutic. 

Some stories are to be written by everybody if not published. It is a good exercise for the soul. It is equally therapeutic.

It is almost similar to the story of Poe of Scheherazade[THE THOUSAND AND SECOND TALE OF SCHEHERAZADE], the narrator meets with her doom after the tale that is probably true. The original storyteller succeeded in overcoming the depopulation of the land by her cleverness in the art of concealing. Poe consciously gives a twist showing another probability to the well known tale.

Some facts are stranger than fiction. Some people are crueler than we could ever imagine.Likewise, the opposite. The writers’ business is writing. Without judgment. To judge is to take an anonymous load. It is risky, but ultimately a writer’s choice. Because a writer is free. Some facts of our times are stranger than fiction and the writer deals with such themes dexterously. Otherwise, he will invite trouble. Again the same theme of responsibility. All stories cannot be written. And all are not meant to be. Some stories are like love letters. They are very private. They are not to be published in full. You cull out portions from it and exhibit and they may enter the other zone of geography/time. We have a lot of talks. So good fiction need not address the present-day audience. Maybe even written for people to come. 

They entertain and also, eradicate doubts, and join together hostile families belligerent groups and lost friends. They have a beautiful wave, they talk to offenders in a non-legal term yet explore the potentialities of language.

Sometimes, sheer Truth is not palatable, Fiction is not offensive. Fiction is corrective. It serves another goal, it unveils the mind of the writer as well as setting a chord, it is restorative, the author also enriches from its choice returns. Fiction, good fiction is entertaining as well, and it could seek to another level of our being. 

I feel that it is more moralistic than the moral books in the sense that it puts a canopy on the truth. In case the fiction addressees to some pitfalls in self (the writer himself included) or the society, it hoists the spirit. It does not just allow the time to be dissipated that way. Our time is perhaps the most estimable commodity. It does not report directly, Do this, do that-. On the other hand, it acts as a mirror. You know what to do. It does its job slowly. Good fiction is based on true emotions, and our emotions are true when it occurs. It can see through hypocrisy, and that is one of the reasons that the writer writes, to give clarity to his feelings, and when he writes about a feeling, he posits redemption. Certain routes that are propitious. If you discourse plain religion and its jargons, it will be appealing to one group but offensive to another. But fiction could screen Truth and give it to the reader, the selfsame thing that the sacred text aspires to dispatch. There is a sort of benefaction. And the reader is equally active when he reads the Fiction. She doesn’t know what she is reading and is corrected. The good and bad side of fiction,- It could hide poison as well as medicine. It depends wholly on the writer. Readers can benefit from so many angles, but it is as vague as the flows of life. In this sense, it is the highest art. Music is deep but acts another way. The symbol is different. Music is more like an intravenous injection. Art and stories are like healthy potions, sometimes it may take time to act. But it will act. Readers are always partial. It is good to be so. The writer is at home with his group. It is rare to find an impartial reader. But once it happens it is like the miracle of time. A culmination of culture.


-[ From a book on Aesthetics that is in progress –

Title-‘‘The Language of Beauty”]

Sketch -Author