Saturday, October 29, 2011


The purpose of fiction is to entertain not to educate. If you want to educate, write nonfiction. This lesson was the most difficult for me to handle. An early editor who read my novel told me that I had written two books in one: a suspense novel and a non-fiction book on comparative religion. I'd always loved the thriller/suspense genre, but I wanted to write one that made people think. I grew up a Tom Clancy fan. I loved how he interwove the technical details of military strategy, espionage, and cool hardware into his thrillers. I wanted to do the same with the topic of religion. The danger with such an approach is that the non-fiction elements can take precedence over the fictional ones. The book can become preachy or, worse, boring. People read fiction to be entertained. It took me many drafts to strike the right balance: a balance that puts primacy on story and character. The educational aspects of the book had to be woven into the story and integral to the plot and the journey my characters take.

Jeffrey Small, author, The Breath of God writes . What do you think? What is the purpose of fiction? Does it have a purpose?

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