There is nothing wrong with telling lies for a living. Writers of fiction are not the only ones who do it. So long as there is no intent to commit fraud or harm, why should we not? After all, it is not only writers who tell lies for a living. Poets, artists, singers and songwriters, actors, commedians…
Why do we love these liars, buy their books, music, art and movies? Because we find value in suspending our disbelief, opening our hearts and minds to their lies and finding that most valuable kernel of truth.
Stories, released to the world, can end up in the most unusual and unexpected places.
Readers see and impose their own meaning and purpose on our stories.
Which stories have impacted you most? Inveigled their way into your life and never left? Revealed new aspects years after you believed you knew all about them?
Why? Because sometimes we want to be swept away from reality and entertained, amused, or reassured that good can win over evil, love makes the world go around and we can get what we think we deserve. We may be looking for a way to deal with a situation, seeking a model to emulate, an example to follow, inspiration to greatness, or courage to continue toward our goals.
We learn much from being entertained in this way, about how people think and feel, how they reason and why they do what they do. Both as an example to follow and to avoid.
Sometimes we need to learn the lessons we don’t learn from reality. We need the objectivity of not being so personally involved.
There are hundreds more reasons why we need stories. What are your favourites?
Reading the stories of great artists is luxury at its finest. These are the stories which endure, stay with us, characters which become as real to us as anyone we know well.
Such stories become blockbuster movies, stories which intrigue later generations as much as they did our forebears. Becoming such an artist is hard work.
There is much to learn about finding and crafting the raw material into the greatest story we can conceive. Then they must be told well.
Some are natural born storytellers, most of us learn the hard way. Reading great stories, examining them, pulling them apart, looking at the pieces, and seeing how they fit together to create the beautiful whole.
Both aspects of becoming an artist take time and commitment, determination and talent. Great artists practice to the point of obsession. Few of us will get there on our own.
Along the way to greatness, there is also an element of good luck.
My wish for you is a perfect combination of all the above.
Whether you are reading or writing, enjoy the stories.