Saturday

Dreams, Visions, & Hallucinations in Fiction


As an art form, fiction’s true canvas isn’t the blank page—it’s the individual human imagination. Novels and stories are imaginative interfaces. Together, author and reader create a living story-world more complete, more engrossing, and more charged with emotional meaning than the most expensively produced moving images on the highest fidelity plasma screen. 


Well-constructed fiction is deeply hypnotic because it offers an intensely vicarious experience: the experience of another consciousness journeying through vivid landscapes and cityscapes, exploring new societies, confronting powerful antagonistic forces, yearning, searching, reacting, reflecting, falling in love, and dealing with all the stresses and difficulties that come with good storytelling. 

A vibrant inner landscape is something fiction can offer far more fulsomely than any other narrative art, which is the reason novels and stories will never be fully supplanted by movies or TV or video games. Fiction is irresistible because it offers the reader a defamiliarized version of the universal mind, in all its wisdom and agony and strange, conflicted beauty.
For fiction writers, this is where it gets fun. The inner landscape is our native domain, and we have certain freedoms and privileges within it that are not readily available to other artists. Our stories unfold primarily as refracted through our characters’ minds, meaning that we’re uniquely positioned to push against the outer limits of objective reality. 

Click here to read the rest of the article at Fiction Writers Review.