In the writing of fiction, there is a story being told. In the reading of that same fiction, there is another story being heard. The two stories are not the same – the story as it is being told resonates out and intertwines with the story of the author’s life, as he or she knows it. The story as it is being heard resonates into and intertwines with the story of the reader’s life, as he or she knows it. Depending on the predispositions and intolerances of each, even the most basic elements of the story have very different weights.
We write our lives with the same eloquence of a professional writer of fictions. You have a narrative and a certain understanding and a set of pursuits, with a map at the beginning of the book that you gradually fill in as you live out your life. I have my own narrative and map. All these people do – everyone has mountains and deserts, quests and rests, feasts and famines. All phenomena have stories. Pick a rock, and if you could hear it speak it could tell you of a bewildering journey, of birth, of cold winters, of running rabbits and pursuing coyotes.
All sentient beings cast themselves as protagonists in their stories. Almost all are seen as villains in some other creatures’ stories. Follow one life-thread and you’ll learn of a journey through the burning desert, but follow another and you’ll see that journeyer simply disappear in mystery to the west. We’re all heroes and wicked people, we’re all interesting and terribly boring, and we’re all nameless extras in a hundred films we unknowingly pass through every day.
We are all storytellers of complete fictions. We write fantasy novels when we attempt to make coherent sequences out of our lives. We populate our tales by making up side stories about the other sentient beings we perceive, so that we can understand and predict them. Everyone’s stories are masterful narratives by writers who read and usually absolutely believe their own tales. Your thoughts are the most convincing and unnoticed voice-over talents you’ve been able to hire into your production.
This world is most essentially these stories. They are priceless and wonderful, it doesn’t matter that they’re fictions. All stories are fictions. The only difference is belief.
You write when you find time to play with the children, and you write when you don’t. You write when you stop something that needs to be stopped, and you write when you stand by without aid or action. You write when you remain peaceful in the storm, and you write when you react angrily. You write your stories, and you write into the stories that everyone and everything is writing and reading. How you write is a matter of your preference for genre.
I myself like uplifting stories, but that’s beside the point. I suspect God’s an avid reader of all genres.