Most writing starts with a question or a what if scenario.
What if we allow same-sex marriage?
What if you had three months to live?
What if you found out you had magical powers when you thought you were small, powerless and unwanted?
What would you do if you found out your partner was cheating on you?
As a writer, it’s your job to try to answer these questions. It’s through the writing that you will nut out the answers or solutions to a problem that your reader might have or the character in the story might have. You may not have all the answers but you can offer the reader some arguments, ideas or solutions that help them come to their own conclusion.
Readers are looking for something all the time. It might be that they feel lost or indecisive and these solutions can be presented in many ways through story. It doesn’t matter whether that story is fact or fiction because it’s the truth in the story that will make itself known. Even a simple love story has to be anchored in reality.
Truth? you say.
Yes, even fiction carries truth. In fact, without it the reader won’t connect with the story and will dismiss it very quickly.
Quite often the reader will already know the answer to their question but it’s from reading it in someone else’s words that helps to validate their own beliefs and ideas and cements a solution for them.
Here’s an example: We have been told through the ages that the ‘little guy’ can defeat the all powerful, that size doesn’t matter. These stories are played out in stories such as The Fellowship of the Ring, Harry Potter or countless biographies. The reader is looking for examples of how they might survive despite feeling like they have no choices, no power in their life.
Think about this when you’re writing. What is the truth that you are giving the reader? You have a lifetime of lived experience to share with your reader. They have questions, wants, and needs that they are looking for answers to.