I wrote this in response to a prompt given at our journal group.
Fiction gives us the chance that life denies us. Paul Theroux
This quote reminds me of the story of how Sue Grafton began writing. She was angry with her ex-husband after her divorce. She said she felt like killing him; since that wasn’t allowed, she wrote a murder mystery with him in mind. And after it was done, she sold it and started her series of Alphabet Murders! I don’t know if it’s true, but I like that story.
I know that when I read a good story, I am transported into the life and locale of the book. The characters, the places and the events become real. I get to travel and live right along with the characters. I can jump through time and space, through gender, through circumstances.
I may never get to Prince Edward Island, or Tuscany or Ireland, yet I’ve already lived there. I’ve been orphaned, a governess, a writer, a Civil War survivor who will never go hungry again. I’ve lived in Chicago, in Iowa, and in the Deep South. I’ve solved mysteries with my gang of friends and with my two cats. And I’ve done all these things while sitting in a chair with my nose stuck in a book. So, yes, fiction does give us chances that life denies us. It can also create new choices and new chances. After we read about these people and places, we can choose to go and experience them in our real life. Or we can write about them and share with others.