Author Topic: What is fiction?  (Read 3265 times)

Offline trdsf

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 12:33:18 PM »
I know it feels like I'm accessing another reality and just taking dictation sometimes, and there's a back corner of my mind where my characters exist and I can access them to negotiate out a story -- and I have in fact had my characters tell me they're not going to do something so I better write something else.

It's a useful illusion to manage my creativity.  I do not assert that there is a real other universe where my hapless crew of metahumans and mad scientists have a real, material existence.  It's just useful to me, as a writer, to pretend there is.  My occasional collaborators have long since gotten used to me saying things like, "Oh, (character) says he won't do that" or "Interesting plot twist, let me ask (character)".

Functionally, it's how I access the part of my brain where my creativity lies.  Odd, maybe.  Harmless, probably.  Recognized as a creative crutch, absolutely.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline Baruch

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2017, 01:03:06 PM »
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I think that's equivocating two distinct qualitative experiences. "Experiencing" a fictional story, and the individual Experience of the world by the senses are two distinct notions.



If you're unable to tell the difference between the two, well, then I think this is a good time to see a psychiatrist about upping your dose.

I agree.  But in English, we use one word for multiple meanings.  Qualitatively, there is a whole spectrum of experiences.  And ordinarily we privilege a certain part of that as waking, ordinary experience.  However, ordinary experience by the senses isn't neutral, there is a whole host of crap that goes into converting that into "perception".
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2017, 07:19:40 AM »
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I think it should be a law, yes a law, that everyone must write a book. I spent years on mine and never had it published, but it was a tremendous learning experience in all kinds of stuff.

You see, nearly 25 years ago, long before Hitchens and Harris or Dawkins I thought I would write a book on musings on being an atheist. The title? "Atheist in the Midst" ...get it? aitm?  anyhoo....

I wrote short "essays" on topics from practically everything and how I, being an atheist, saw the matter without the aid of supernatural agents. The one thing I didn't count on when I started was my own response when reading some of my thoughts and thinking, "am I sure that is the real history before I spout off on it?" And so I delved into all kinds of study finding out if the history I learned was really the real history, or if indeed, homosexuality, as I was convinced, was a naturally recurring percentile and thus not "abnormal" but merely a trait of the species.

Some of the great reads:
Most any of Daniel Boorstin's books, fabulous reading. The discoverers, The creators, the seekers
The Little Brown book anecdotes, The Great Thoughts, The entire Funk and Wagnal Encyclopedia', American Myth and Legends, The Puritans, so many things I started to spout off on and thought, "lets go look at that again".

I would recommend it for everyone.

"Atheist in the Midst" ...get it? aitm?  anyhoo....

Gobsmacked!  The mystery solved...  I'm not kidding; I'm stunned. 

I appreciate the explanation.  Really.  You want to trade a few essays for a few of my short stories?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online aitm

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2017, 11:31:46 AM »
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"Atheist in the Midst" ...get it? aitm?  anyhoo....

Gobsmacked!  The mystery solved...  I'm not kidding; I'm stunned. 

I appreciate the explanation.  Really.  You want to trade a few essays for a few of my short stories?

I submitted a brief about 20 year ago and was told, in a rather polite way-considering what they were trying to say, "our readers would expect a little more challenging material......YEE-OUCH!

Yeah we could do that, but to be honest I haven't looked at it in years. I don't know if it will even load on the new computer. I will have to look.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2017, 11:41:34 AM »
Fiction? Why it's all 100% true all the time.  They can't write things that aren't true!  Everyone knows that.
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Offline trdsf

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2017, 12:53:02 PM »
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I think it should be a law, yes a law, that everyone must write a book. I spent years on mine and never had it published, but it was a tremendous learning experience in all kinds of stuff.
I would disagree, except that if this were a law, they might take teaching grammar, spelling and punctuation more seriously in grade- and high school.  The millions of awful books would be worth the prospect of never seeing the phrase 'im comming over their to you're place tonite' (or the like) again.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline Baruch

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2017, 01:30:11 PM »
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Fiction? Why it's all 100% true all the time.  They can't write things that aren't true!  Everyone knows that.

There is no truth.  Just assholes.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Sal1981

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2017, 03:00:48 PM »
I have written a book - sorta, it's nothing special, a stupid 120 a4 pages of non-fiction, only touching on a number of topics.

I'm not particulary proud of it or anything. It's more of a glorified blog.

Also, it's in Faroese, and I never bothered to complete the English translation.

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"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2017, 03:52:57 PM »
Perhaps in an infinite multiverse there's no such thing as fiction - maybe every possibility is actualized somewhere in the vast expanse of dimensions.
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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
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Offline SGOS

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2017, 04:02:23 PM »
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I have written a book - sorta, it's nothing special, a stupid 120 a4 pages of non-fiction, only touching on a number of topics.

I'm not particulary proud of it or anything. It's more of a glorified blog.

Also, it's in Faroese, and I never bothered to complete the English translation.

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Whatever language that was, I'm sure it was interesting.

Offline Baruch

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2017, 07:43:13 PM »
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Perhaps in an infinite multiverse there's no such thing as fiction - maybe every possibility is actualized somewhere in the vast expanse of dimensions.

Is that you Rick?  Or Evil Morty?
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2017, 03:42:36 AM »
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I submitted a brief about 20 year ago and was told, in a rather polite way-considering what they were trying to say, "our readers would expect a little more challenging material......YEE-OUCH!

Yeah we could do that, but to be honest I haven't looked at it in years. I don't know if it will even load on the new computer. I will have to look.

Take a look.  My stories are half lost, half found.  Just a thought to share interesting stories.  I only wrote mine because I wanted stories I liked.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2017, 08:50:10 PM »
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Take a look.  My stories are half lost, half found.  Just a thought to share interesting stories.  I only wrote mine because I wanted stories I liked.

Self referential?  Your stories are re-cursed!
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Cavebear

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2017, 04:54:51 AM »
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Self referential?  Your stories are re-cursed!

They are not about me.  They are mostly like "Just So" stories set in prehistory.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online aitm

Re: What is fiction?
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2017, 08:57:31 AM »
I have had a book in my mind for years of short stories where the main characters in each story were all average or below average, by that, either in intelligence, social status or simply kind of a schmo. But in each story an event would happen and they would make a conscious decision to take action and to become a hero. And in each story just as the moment of greatness was at hand, some type of calamity would occur and they would be killed or their efforts would be completely overlooked, missed or simply misconstrued so that no one would ever know they even attempted. But after thinking of several story lines, I decided that,  while one story might be good, several of the same type of ending would simply be disheartening to a reader.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

 

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