Fiction – is there a reason for it? A point to it? Why do we read it, or write it?
The main function of fiction has always been to entertain. Losing oneself in a good book on a rainy afternoon is an enormous pleasure but we don’t usually expect a novel to be life changing; that is not the primary reason for reading fiction. But novelists have always written about the human condition. In fact, you could say that it is one of the duties of the novelist to draw attention to the ills of society and encourage us towards change. This is why some draconian regimes condemn the writing of novels as a subversive activity, which has to be banned. These governments fear novel writers because they offer a different version of the world to the one they are keen to perpetuate.
Give your story a personality with some imaginative names for your characters. Last week I came across a Bulstrode Whitelocke, which has a rather Dickensian feel to it and is entirely real, and it got me thinking about how authors use names.
That’s an unnecessarily long word, a bit of a tongue-twister, so what does it mean?
It’s a personal thing. These days, I may describe myself as my partner’s significant other, but I’m also a librocubicuralist. It’s not an either/or situation; I can be both, because the definition of the word is ‘someone who reads in bed’. Though how I’m going to introduce that nugget into my novel is anyone’s guess. I’ll have to file it with runcible, hirsute and discombobulate until a suitable occasion presents itself.
But I digress…..This post was supposed to be about A Literary Ramble.
If my previous post didn’t help free up the creative juices, here’s a list of last lines – writing a story from the end, backwards, requires a different sort of imaginative leap, but it can be very entertaining. As before, you can delete the last line after you’ve finished. One of these last lines is the conclusion to one of the novels from the first lines list.