What is Fiction of Reality?

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Some authors, depending on the genre, write to instruct, frighten, dream, take you into their world of imaginings or even to unburden themselves of their distress- and maybe load it unto you.  Others write to amaze, surprise and delight… and that’s what I aim for when I write in the genre of The Fiction of Reality. 

However,  since The Fiction of Reality is a relative new phrase and maybe a genre that is not used liberally because it is unknown, much confused, and with as many interpretations as there are authors who use it, I thought it would be opportune to explain what it is and hence, why I use it to describe my kind of writing.  

Firstly, I had better explain what it is not for me.  For me it is not what is termed “realistic fiction”, that term is used to describe  fiction written in a way that seems something not imagined, or made up, but something that has really happened.  So, fiction written to appear as real, as for example, “kitchen sink drama” is not what I mean by The Fiction of Reality.

Nor is it, as I see it, Historical Fiction.  Historical Fiction has events and some of the characters, maybe or maybe not, have really existed but such are used as the background to a story completely invented by the author, hence it is fiction.  Even when history is used with accuracy to corresponding historical facts, it is still not what I mean by the Fiction of Reality.  The telling of facts only, no matter how brilliantly done for me is non-fiction.      

Fiction of Reality is not something totally imagined and not something totally real, it does however, contain qualities of both and to the degree fiction or fact is used in the story to create not a “credible story” alone but a new creation, with a reality of its own, depends on the skill of the author.

The result of a work stemming from The Fiction of Reality process is therefore a new creation with a reality of its own. Hence, in order to understand this phenomena one must explain the process used by an author using The Fiction of Reality method. In order to give more light on this process at work I have created a page on this website called Message Cards for Writers, and also here Eva Ulian Writing

A photographer may take a perfectly accurate photo of anyone or anything, yet I doubt there is any photo as famous or as expensive as any of say, Rembrandt’s portraits or any landscape by Monet or sunflowers by Van Gogh. 

So why on earth cannot a perfectly realistic photo of a sunflower be as precious and as valuable as those, one may say, dried up miserable looking petals that Van Gogh painted? The answer simple as it may seem, but true nevertheless, is because Van Gogh used The Fiction of Reality process and the camera didn’t.

Van Gogh as all Impressionist, not to mention realistic artists, painted their picture with the object in front of them; Van Gogh had his sunflowers, Degas his ballerinas, Renoir his bathers, and Monet even went out morning, noon and dusk to paint Rouen Cathedral so as to capture the different reflections of the light- hard to find anything more of an attempt at realism than that. Yet, the paintings of the Impressionists are “indistinct,” “out of focus”, even “messy”, not  accurate and only just about recognizable. So how, pray, have they acquired such esteemed value?  Again the answer is because they used The Fiction of Reality process.  In other words, the artists took a real object or scene, interiorized it, interpreted it and added their own meaning, vision, imagination to form a complete new scene, a new creation with a reality of its own so that the sun flowers were no longer the flowers in front of Van Gogh, Rouen Cathedral was not the grey, ordinary brick and mortar with which it was constructed… that is the process of turning Reality into Fiction.

The same principle, when using The Fiction of Reality process is applied to a written work.  The process takes place  when  we draw out from the past events that have existed and have remained, maybe in our subconscious, to form a present image.   It is this process of drawing out events from the past and recreating them in the present I call The Fiction of Reality process.  It is reality because it draws out from life events that have occurred.  It is fictional because, this bringing into focus a faded or not so faded image from the past is forming a new shape of that image, giving it a  brand new reality, a life of its own, as the painter does- the only difference is- instead of pictures a writer creates the scene with words.


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