Writing fiction

As problems go, the problem of writing fiction is perhaps unique. Often, when we look at the creative arts, we think in terms of solving a problem.

Yet writing good fiction is somewhat unique in the arts in that it requires solving a problem by creating problems.

Specifically, in order to solve our problem of creating a great story, we need to create problems for the characters in that story. Then we need to help those characters solve their problems.

In the process of our characters solving their problems, we have solved ours. The reader or viewer is pulled into our characters’ problem solving, and thereby becomes engaged with our story.

Things gets even more interesting when we are writing fiction involving a character who is herself a writer of fiction. In that case, we are called upon to solve our problem by creating the problem for our character of creating problems for her own characters.

We might even manage to create a loop. Somewhere down in the creative chain, one of the characters writes the top level character. What could be more fun?

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