One reason that people write fiction is that the truth is taboo. I know of two true story books that started life as non-fiction, then had to change category to become fiction. The truth is not allowed.
The first one is Mutant Message Down Under, one of my favourite ever books. It’s about the Australian Aborigines and the author’s time living with a tribe. It describes a way of life at one with nature, and includes the skills of the aborigines in telepathy, dreaming, making few people appear as many, becoming invisible to others, and measuring time and distance using songs. This is all normal everyday stuff to the aborigines, and no science is necessary for them, or for the book.
The truth of the book was challenged, and the author refused to divulge details of people and places described in the book. In the end, she retracted her claim that the book was true. As long as the book is presented as fiction, it is left alone. To claim it is true sets off a big argument. To start with, I was a little disappointed that it might not be true. But then I realised that IT DOESN’T MATTER! The truth is in the message. Whether or not it actually happened is completely irrelevant. I know the message to be true because it rings true with me. It is my truth, and it is a guide for me along my path.
The other book is Report From Iron Mountain. This is about the story of some people allocated by the US Government to secretly research what would happen if there was no war to control people. What would be needed instead? How would people be controlled in times of “peace”? The “author” is a publisher, who was approached by one of the people who worked on the report who wished to release it to the public.
Again, the book was denounced as fake, and again, the author then retracted and said it was fiction. Same pattern. Again, it doesn’t really matter whether or not the book is a true story. The message is the interesting part. How would they control us without wars? It seems more than likely that this idea would have been explored by the people in charge, but if it was merely explored by the author, that’s just as interesting.
The Bible is a book which causes endless debate about its truth. Was Jesus real? Are the stories made up? Again, I don’t think it matters. It’s the messages that you can take from the Bible that matters. It’s the message that is true or false, not the story. I am personally very selective about what I take from the Bible. It seems to me to be a mixed bag of true and false messages, but then it’s up to you how you interpret it anyway. I have written several posts inspired by the story of Jesus. And I really don’t care if he was real or not, it makes no difference.
People also write fiction because it makes a better story, or because by using fictional characters and places, you don’t have to identify anyone or anywhere in particular. You can get your message across better by adjusting the story to fit the message. Fiction gets a bigger and more captivated audience. And it’s more memorable. Good storytelling is a great skill. That skill can be used for bad or for good intent.
So fiction to me seems to be full of truth.
Fact, on the other hand, seems to be full of lies.
To me, fact is what is accepted as the truth, often because it has been fed to the majority via education, newspapers, TV etc. Fact means established truth, accepted fact, known fact (“everyone knows that” is the common cry). Lies become truth in this way. But it’s certainly not my truth.
You are allowed to write as non-fiction, if you are presenting accepted fact. But if you are presenting something that goes against accepted fact, then you will be seriously challenged if you label it as The Truth. Something like saying The World Is Round, when the fact is that the world is flat. Something like saying the Queen Mother is a child abuser when the fact is that she is a lovely lady. Something like saying there is life on other planets, when it is a known fact that there isn’t. This may be a subliminal force which drives writers (and other types of artists) to channel their truth into fiction.
Here is another thing that keeps the controllers happy. If the truth is disguised as fiction, then when people see the truth right under their noses, they also label that as fiction too! UFO, no can’t be, that’s the stuff of fiction. Big Brother state control, don’t be silly, that’s from a book. Multiple universes, yeah right, you been reading Philip Pullman. So we keep all these alternative possibililties classified as fiction, and therefore not truth, and our minds stay closed.
(See also earlier posts: I Am The Truth, Decoding the Murder of Jesus, Jesus da Vinci and Chakra)
Book: Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
Book: Report From Iron Mountain by Leonard C. Lewin
Book: Flat Earth News by Nick Davies, a journalistic investigation showing how the media presents predominantly false news.