Is Fiction Important?

posted in: Fiction | 14

Fiction is just a lie. A made up world, with characters and timelines that aren’t real, true or factual. So why is it that some of us are so drawn to it? Why does it even exist when it sounds almost useless?

For someone who only discovered the magical world of reading at age 14, I previously could not understand why fiction was popular. I staunchly believed that non-fiction could offer much more value to the reader than fiction ever could. I’ve come to learn that fiction is the backbone to surviving a world too rigid and devoid of creativity.


What’s life if you cannot imagine a purple elephant in a bikini, standing on its hind legs and singing Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive? As arbitrary as that image sounds, or some would argue downright weird, there is a part of our brain that needs to switch off rationale and practicality and simply imagine. Let go of reality for a moment; take the backseat if you may. New meanings are born from looking at things differently, from thinking about things in unpopular ways and with that comes a new zest for life.

Whether a piece of literature is character-driven or action-driven, the creativity involved leaves you with much to ponder about – just like reality and real situations. Reading and writing fiction is like a playground for the imagination.


Sometimes the intense emotions we experience – be it anger, depression, excitement, gratitude – can best be expressed through poetry or storytelling. But fiction doesn’t necessarily reflect the writers actual sentiment about a certain topic. Sometimes invoking an emotional response to perfect a scene is the best way to get your fiction sounding flawless. This also helps the writer understand the emotions attached to being in a specific situation they haven’t yet experienced in reality.

Emotions open up a side to us that give our character a new dimension and expressing it by writing fictional pieces is just one creative medium to deal with and harvest positive outcomes. It’s already proven that writing down how you really feel helps you deal with your emotions, so wouldn’t writing fiction be as therapeutic as reading it?


peace-gratAs much as reality can help keep us in check, so can fiction. Reading about how situations could be (for the better or worse) can get us to assess our own lives. We can learn to either prioritise or to let go of things and appreciate what we have and don’t have.

Of course, much room is left for wishful thinking, but where’s the harm in that? 🙂

Do you think fiction is important? Why?

Follow Saajida Akabor:

Digital Copywriter

Freelance digital copywriter; animal-lover; reader; photography enthusiast; and a tea drinker.

14 Responses

  1. kavirdaya108

    Thanks Saajida, awesome post , it really made me think that if we didn’t have a fictitious mind would man ever be able to send letters through the sky, like we do now with emails?would we really be able to travel inside a huge iron bird, as we do with aeroplanes, or visit the moon to see if its made from cheese? actually man owes so much to think outside the box and rational thought cannot be independent and mutually exclusive from imagination and irrationality. they both are interdependent on one another. yes harry potter books and the like may seem out of the world, but in today’s times, thoughts like flying on a broom keeps us actually more sane than living life in black and white

    • Saajida

      Interesting points you’ve made, Kavir. And very true. It inspires us to bring to reality things that wouldn’t necessarily sound logical or practical.

  2. Saajida

    A world without fiction would be so dull! Fiction allows us to escape into fantastical worlds, to embark on daring adventures…in the words of G.R,R, Martin, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

  3. nitetimecoffee

    Awesome post! I’d have to say that fiction is definitely important, because while it isn’t wholly real and factual, it creates ideas. It gives us an opportunity to come up with characters that teach people about life. Some fictional stories are the inspiration for the great events that happen in reality. These stories that are woven out of human values, morals, and ideals allow us to capture what we could be into words… We are constantly learning from stories, whether fiction or non-fiction. Not only that, we allow ourselves to start evaluating ourselves because while we read about beautiful fictional characters (who might sound too good to be true) – are we ourselves capable of writing our own story as a beautiful real character? There is so much insight from characters that don’t exist… because we end up loving them more than our non-fiction reads, but we also start to realize that only we can make them reality. (:

    • Saajida

      Yes! that’s so true. It’s impossible to read a moving piece of fiction that doesn’t get your creativity going. And there are so many values that you can learn and be exposed to through fiction, it’s amazing.
      Indeed, we can bring beautiful characters to life by emulating their behaviour 🙂

  4. YellowCable

    I can see few benefits from fictions. Many concepts in science fictions inspired the invention or researching into the area to make them happen in real life. A good example, is “warp drive”, there is actually paper of research into this area by NASA. Another benefit of fictions is a way to introduce concepts (implicitly). We like to see idealistic condition or good ending because good guy wins etc.

    • Saajida

      wow, that’s incredible! and I couldn’t agree more. Introducing concepts through fiction is so creative. Let’s hear it for more fiction 🙂

  5. Arins

    Love this post! I think fiction is very important because in fiction, a lot of truths emerge. It may not be literally true as in the characters existing but elements of truth (in the characters or plot). And it is in these elements of truth that readers are able to relate to the characters and the situation, and create and imaginative experience for them. This can evoke a range of emotions in the reader (including sympathy/empathy) and at the end of a really good fictional novel, the reader is left thinking about ideas/situations that they had never thought of before. Basically, (good) fiction takes the reader on a wonderful journey that they otherwise would not have experienced in their lives.

Your thoughts?