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Horseshoe Magazine

Can fiction tell the truth?

Photo by Héctor J. Rivas on Unsplash

In good literature, emotion, imagination and truth work well together. Not all stories are made up; there is almost always some truth at the heart of them. Fiction is literature about made up people, situations and lifestyles. It is imagined, previously unimaginable situations being brought to life. Therein holds the power of a good fiction read. . Fiction aids drawing attention to the finer nuances of life. That does not imply that one does not have access to the real world, where many of the fictitious experiences written about could be felt. Fiction provides opportunity to the reader to feel emotions they might never sense in any other way. A story invites us to have, through our imaginations, a concrete experience of truth that we may otherwise never have.

We grapple over the theology of imagination. But have we forgotten that one of our most important senses is our imagination? We have the ability to transcend and bring something completely different into existence . We have the ability to imagine a different ending to the story. When I imagine a story unfolding, I get to see my own experiences from a different perspective  and understand new truths about myself and the world.

Young adults, like children, have an overabundance of imagination. Rubber dams are transformed into tooth raincoats, pens into magic wands. Creativity is something that must be nurtured, trained, enjoyed and developed. Snowmen on a snowy day and sand castles at the beach on a sunny afternoon are extensions and filaments of the existence of imagination. It is not an abstract; it is an amazing human craft that must be practiced in order to excel.

While this may seem like an oxymoron to some, the anxiety that surrounds it leads to a narrow vision that restricts and holds back the true capability of the human self. Would a hypothesis exist if no one ever thought about it? No one truly lives in a world that is objective. Everything we take for granted had to be imagined by someone.

Reading, like writing, is an escape for me. When I read a goodreads, I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster. When I started writing, it was more as if I was receiving closure for the situations I am too afraid to confront with my eyes wide open. We feel empathy while listening to artists perform and croon. Although not everyone goes through the same thing every day and at the same time of year, most of us can relate to the lyrics! In Romeo and Juliet, we can sympathize with the adolescent Juliet as she falls in love with someone her parents despise because he is from the wrong family. We have feelings for these characters, but they are ours.

We may be able to understand these feelings better in the hands of writers like William Shakespeare than if they were caused by events in our own lives. Works of fiction draw on our empathy skills and allow us to practice them. They then not only broaden our individual experience, but they can also become topics of discussion with others, who can show us even more implications of our emotions than we had previously perceived.

Fiction-Imagination-Emotion can be tainted with evil or good, depending on the subject’s heart and intentions when perceiving the thought. It is a nexus between right and wrong, just like any other human gift. The former, when read in print, can make the truth come alive and jump right off the page; it can make a story stick with you long after the last page is read.

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