Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why Fiction?

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you might wonder why I choose to write fiction stories. I can string two sentences together to form a coherent thought. I should be writing real books. Important books. OK, maybe that's my ego getting in the way, but I have had folks ask me this.

The answer is fiction books have had more impact on my life than non-fiction books, with the obvious exception of the Bible. However, many of my favorite books also illustrate Biblical truths.

This may be close to blasphemy, but my first image of Jesus as a real person was Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (four years ago I would have had to explain that). I was thrilled with the movie, although I think the cartoon from 20 years ago did a better job of showing the sacrifice at the Stone Table. On the other hand, they wouldn't have been able to keep a PG rating if they showed what was really done to that lion.

I learned about responsibility and mature love from The Little Prince. That book did not make a great movie, although Gene Wilder gives a remarkably tender performance as The Fox.

I cannot tell you how much I am impacted by the The Lost Princess by George MacDonald even today. A book about two kinds of brats, and I could qualify as either one. Every child should not only read but memorize that book. All of MacDonald's short stories are good. I cannot ingest juice and biscuits without thinking of The Light Princess, or eat green or purple grapes without thinking of The Day Boy and The Night Girl.

Each of the books I listed in "Favorites" has impacted my life to some degree, and they are all fiction. Stories bring lessons to life. Jesus used parables for the same reason. People listen to stories about other people. Sometimes people listen more to stories about other people.

I can only hope to write something that reaches people the way my favorite books have reached me. I keep that goal in mind with every chapter. A good fiction book will teach you something whether you know it or not, so choose your books with care.

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