Why we need fiction

We don’t watch movies, read books, or go to the theatre because our lives are perfect, but exactly because they’re not. We do it so we’ll find comfort in that perfect love story, that beautiful friendship or that unexpected situation.

There’s also that part of fiction that teaches us how to bear with reality. How to respond to failure, how to get back on our feet when something bad happens. We need the stories of others, so we can then write our own. People find themselves in a constant state of adaptation. We need to correct our behavior, so that it matches others. So that we can cohabit.

We like fiction because we like magic. Because we like things that don’t normally happen to happen. We like, actually we need to find inspiration. Fiction keeps us going. We see people like Sherlock, or like Q, or maybe Harvey Specter and we say to ourselves that we can be as smart as those guys. As talented. As passionate. As emancipated and confident. Capable. Fiction multiplies our opportunities and hopes for making things possible.



Stories make us relate to others. They let us know we are not alone. They teach us how to tell the good things from the bad, how to believe in ourselves and live our dreams.

Fiction can also be seen as a way of coping with reality. That happens by emphasizing the human emotions, so that we can realize that problems are transient or solvable. Fiction is a momentarily escape, but we know it, and that’s the beauty of it. A movie, a book, a tv show, they’re all short time contracts that promise us a good time in request for nothing but our time.

I know life is more complicated than that. But usually that’s because we make it that way.

When I witness fiction I always try to get the best out of it. I might hate the whole plot at the end of it, but then I remember I really liked a character, or a situation, or a quote. I try to get the best out of spending my time in the company of fictional characters and events.

But why shouldn’t we take it for granted? Why shouldn’t we get blocked in fiction? Because fiction is a succession of well planned coincidences. The thing with real life is that coincidences don’t happen that often. When we want something, we have to make it happen, and don’t relate on destiny.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

I like to apply that to every work of fiction. And it works.

*photo credit: BBC

*gif credit: seriestvquotes


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