It’s true. Here’s what fiction has taught me:
–History. Where else could I have learned about the Wars of the Roses, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the Native Americans, the early settlers, the immigrants who came to Ellis Island, Amelia Earhart, the Great Depression, saints, royals, commoners, Shakespeare, Victorian England, Protestant Scotland, and so much more? Medieval France, the roaring 20’s, the assassinations of MLK and the Kennedys?
–Science. With books like The Quantum July out there, you can make your brain hurt and have fun, too! Yep, fiction taght me chaos theory, string theory, Einsteins’ theory of Realatvity. It taught me that the mere prescence of an observer changes the outcome of an experiment. It taught me about entropy, parallel universes, black holes, supernovas, and even some chemistry.
–Writing. I learned from the greats. In school, teachers would be talking about the ‘right’ way to write, and then I would raise my hand and say, “But that’s not how you write it in a book.” They would snap, “well, we’re not talking about writing books right now.” Then what the heck were we talking about??? Sheesh. Besides that, fiction taught me how to build characters, settings, conversations, and conflict. I learned all the elements of a great story, all the elements of fiction which some writers agonize over learning, by the time I was ten.
And besides the above subjects, here are some other lessons I’ve learned from my extensive wanderings through the world of fiction…..
-The flowers that now grow in our gardens were once rare mysteries that men crossed the earth in search of, risked prison, injury, and death to retrieve. Botany was not for the faint of heart.
-The best heroes are never perfect.
-Your real friends are the ones you would die for.
-Or who would do the same for you.
-Your mind is your greatest possesion. It cannot be taken from you, it can be used as a weapon, a haven, and a storage device.
-The pen is mightier than the sword. Unless you’re fighting illiterate pirates.
-The color of wax can help solve a mystery. The slant of handwriting is a giveaway clue.
-Asparagus means death.
-Attention to detail is key.
-Girls in dresses rock the world.
-Your brothers mean well… usually.
-Trust your instinct.
-Music can change the world.
-There is magic everywhere.
-Never take this world you live in for granted.
-Names are not mere trivialities.
-True love is never easy.
-A broken heart can still beat.
-Death is not the end.
-You are not defined by your past, your family, your money, or where you come from.
-Cars are for losers. Bikes, horses, carriages, feet, and gryphon-back are much better modes of travel.
-Writing is a dangerous business.
-You can start a sentence with And. Really, you can!
-Some rules are made to be broken.
-Evil may win battles, but they cannot win the war.
-The ability to see the future is way overrated.
-It’s considered rude to eat anything you’ve just been introduced to.
-Think lovely thoughts, and they will lift you up in the air!
-Be what you seem to be. Or, if you’d like it put more simply….
-“Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them otherwise.”
-The best maps are perfect and absolute blanks! (Bellman forever!LOL)
-You will find friendship and even love in the most unexpected places.
-Never trust gorgeous people in white gloves.
-The best answer to any question is “Treacle.”
-Beavers are sensitive creatures, who are generally not too good at math.
-Never let a toad drive a car. Just don’t!
There’s so much more…. I could go on forever…..
Maybe some other time I will. I will have What I Learned From Fiction THE SEQUEL. Unless, of course, this bored you. ;P