Thursday, June 21, 2007

The authenticity of fiction

From Penelope Lively's Making It Up

To write fiction is to make a succession of choices, to send the narrative and the characters in one direction rather than another. Story is navigation; successful story is the triumphant progress down exactly the right paths, avoiding the dead ends, the unsatisfactory turns. Life, of course, is not at all like that. There is no shrewd navigator, just a person's own haphazard lurching from one decision to another. Which is why life so often seems to lack the authenticity of fiction.