Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Why do we write fiction?
Why should we? What does it do to the reader? Why? Why is it damned important? What will happen to the human race if we don't do it and if readers don't read it?

These questions and more are the ones I will attempt to answer in a speech next week. You can't come, sorry; but it hardly matters because in the course of my research I came across a wonderful blog, written by scientists/psychologists with an academic and passionate interest in the power of fiction. And their research articles are available on it. Free. Which is incredibly generous.

It's called Onfiction and I've put a link in my blog list, as well as here.

It is fascinating, inspiring and very important. And it even gives us novelists a load of useful pointers about engaging our readers and why some types of story engage more than others. Scientists call it "narrative transportation". I love it the whole concept of narrative transportation. I read an article about it in Scientific American Mind last year and it's stayed with me ever since. What more could a writer want than that the reader be transported into the world we create? (Sarah - many thanks for the link to that! Last time I looked it wasn't on-line and I'm delighted that it now is. Thanks to SciamMind too.)

Go carry your readers away!


Paul Lamb said...

Thanks for the link!

Stroppy Author said...

why can't we come to your talk, Nicola?

Sarah said...

Hi, Nicola. I'm just now catching up on my blog reading.

The Scientific American Mind article you'd mentioned sounded so interesting that I googled it. It's online, and here's the link.