At the Ottawa Writer’s Fest, I had the pleasure of hearing Cherie Dimaline speak. She restored my faith in fiction, saying that it can be transformational. I take that to mean that it really changes a person in a core way. It’s not like when you see photos of chocolate then you eat nothing but chocolate for a month. I mean, that will transform you, but not in any positive sort of way. Transformational fiction is writing that makes you think about real life situations, and sometimes you’ll want to help people or join a cause because of it.
I didn’t really think of fiction as transformational in the past. I love to write it and read it, but I often think of it as a bit of waste of time. You can write a story that parallels modern day horrors on this planet and subtly or even brutally put your readers in a scene that causes enough discomfort to spark a change in ideology or practice.
From now on, everything I write is going to start with the condition that it’s transformational, and I hope you’ll give it a try too.