Is fiction easier for us to comprehend than reality?
You could read a nonfiction book and get all of the information. Or you could read a story.
It wouldn’t have to be real. It might not even have to be possible. But maybe just a little beyond what you could comprehend as reality. But here’s a little secret: we can better experience the world that our brains can comprehend than any world that our senses can touch and feel.
Read this three times:
“You have roughly 100,000 times more synapses in your brain than you have sensory receptors in your body.
Thus you are roughly 100,000 times better equipped to experience a world that does not exist, than a world that does.”
— Indiana Beagle
I first heard this quote at A.L. Knorr’s presentation at 20 Books to 50k London writer’s conference. More on A.L. Knorr’s writing is here. I could find no mention of Indiana Beagle and am still not sure if it’s a newspaper, a person, or a type of dog.
Fiction or Nonfiction?
I’m at something of a crossroads in my writing career.
I have published my “big, important work” in my nonfiction, personal development book “Every Single Day.” It was the one that I had to get out of my system, the book that has been haunting me to sleep and waking me up in the mornings for something around a decade. It’s now done, it’s out into the world, I can move on.
But move onto where?
Understanding the quote above from Indiana Beagle, I think that I can reach more people through fiction, with worlds that may or may not exist, through the power of story and character, the mind and senses that we didn’t know we had.
We can only feel so many things with our fingers, see so much with our eyes. But our minds can go so much further. What if I could take you to places you might have never imagined through story? Stories of little kids and how they’re discovering adventure and the powers they didn’t know they had? What if a regular guy was given special powers that he finds out that we all have–and he wants to help us find them. What if this? What if that? What if we took just a step beyond what we see and know and dove head first into a world of story and world and universe that might be our own? If we just opened our eyes.
No, sorry. If we just closed our eyes and saw it.
It’s there, we just need to see it and maybe we don’t need to open our eyes, maybe we need to close them.
On a comedic technical note, because I can hear the question coming already, “How are we supposed to read your books if we’re closing our eyes, Mr. Charbonneau?”
I got your covered: audiobooks.
Abby also mentions David Freeman’s course on script writing to help create your characters Beyond Structure.