The Power of Fiction to Change Minds

Well, that’s a rather lofty title, eh? 😉

I really just wanted to share something with you this month. Recently I’ve been thinking about how much writing and reading can change our perceptions of the world. You enter the “story world” or the “story dream,” and magical things happen. You can become another person and see through her/his eyes. That’s the hope anyway, that the book will be so engrossing that you’ll forget you’re reading.

I have a new release, SONGSTONE, coming out next month. Right now, I’m finishing up the last touches before it goes into the formatting stage.

(Warning shameless promotional plug here: enter now to win a free paperback on Goodreads!)

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Images courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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Images courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

This was a book that, in my research, took me to far-off New Zealand, to a pre-European-contact island world, and introduced me to a people with rich folklore, language, and traditions. I was in heaven searching through images of spewing lava, mysterious steaming lakes, lush jungles, mountain streams, and idyllic beaches. 

The writing of this book changed me. It changed the way I think about culture. There’s was one point in the writing where I realized I’d pressed my authorial thumbprint on something the heroine said, using a dismissive aside about a particular island belief. (Revealing, unintentionally, that I personally didn’t buy into it.)

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Images courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

That sentence sat there festering in my manuscript. But then one day, I saw what was wrong with it (and I was a bit ashamed of myself, to tell the truth). I needed to become Kita (the heroine). I needed, as the author, to stop being me, and become a seventeen-year-old island girl who grew up in a world with no written language. I needed to be a girl who believed in myths and spirits, and I needed to go there wholeheartedly & without reservations. It was so freeing to decide I was going to do just that.

I’m happy to say I went back and revised that line. (No, I’m not going to share what it was, for that would spoil the victory of taking it out. ;))

So, I’ll leave you with a question.

Readers, do you ever have trouble “letting go” as you’re reading? How do you decide if you’re going to stick with it or simply set the book aside?

Writers, have you ever had an experience writing when you realized you were getting in your own way and needed to let go of you, “The Author,” and just get into your character’s head?

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About Lena Goldfinch

LENA GOLDFINCH writes heartwarming romance and romantic fantasy for adults and teens. She's a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it's a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, whether she's writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Her works include: SWEET HISTORICAL WESTERN ROMANCE * THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE (The Brides Book 1) ... A Mail-Order Bride Novel ... New Release! FANTASY ROMANCE FOR ADULTS / YOUNG ADULTS / TEENS * AIRE * SONGSTONE * THE LANGUAGE OF SOULS CONTEMPORARY YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE (The HAUNTING JOY Series) * HAUNTING JOY * CHAIN REACTION: A Short Story (Prequel to HAUNTING JOY) CONTEMPORARY NEW ADULT / YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE * TAKE A PICTURE: A Novella Visit her online at http://www.Lena Goldfinch.com

10 thoughts on “The Power of Fiction to Change Minds

  1. I love ancient historical books that really dive into that world. Marion Zimmer Bradley did an amazing job recreating a world filled with Arthurian myths in The Forest House and The Mists of Avalon — the characters believed and were not spoiled by a too modern perspective. Songstone sounds like it’s going to be a great read in the same mythical way!

    • I find a nap sometimes works. 😉 Seriously, if I’m stuck like that I find taking a short break can help, like a nap or going for a walk or taking a shower. (There’s something magical about shower water, I think! ;))

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