Fictivity: Fiction Redefined

A need, a desire, a yearning, a longing, has the power to draw the person who has it towards the object of that need, desire, yearning or longing. This is the primary force which underlies how human transactions work, including transactions between a reader and a piece of fiction. We're calling it 'vacuum power'.

How does this apply to the subject of fiction? The word 'fiction' is usually defined along these lines:

fiction: literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people. It comes from late Middle English (in the sense ‘invented statement’) via Old French from Latin fictio(n-), from fingere ‘form, contrive’.

The whole idea behind the idea is that it is to do with things that are made up.

And so it starts from a 'writer-centric' perspective: whatever a writer wants, thinks or feels should happen next is ‘fiction’. And so fiction writers sit at their desks or in the chairs and write whatever they imagine. And that’s what is called fiction.

The biggest problem with this is that there is absolutely no guarantee that anything that emerges from a writer’s mind will be of any interest whatsoever to a reader.

Restating that (because it's important): as a writer, you can make up anything you wish, and it becomes a piece of fiction. But the mere fact that you have written it does not in any way ensure that anyone else will be even remotely interested.

If you’re a relatively new or unpublished writer, used to receiving streams of rejection letters, you may have rationalised this by telling yourself that ‘Publishers are missing an opportunity’ or ‘No one is recognising your genius’. You may have developed a mind-set in which the universe appears to owe you some success for having made the effort and sacrifices involved in writing