Writer’s Craft #56 – Fiction Hones Social Skills
Your host, Lynda Williams, is the author of the Okal Rel Saga (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and editor of the Okal Rel Legacies series (Absolute Xpress). She also works as Learning Technology Analyst for Simon Fraser University and teaches a introductory web development course at BCIT. For a list of Okal Rel titles see: Lynda Williams on Amazon.com.
It hasn’t happened to me for nearly a year, so I was as thrilled as a kid on a first date when I was ambushed by not one, but two whole scenes this weekend. The key ingredient of a scene, for me, is discovering at least two characters with a conflict that I can get inside, on both sides of the equation, and argue as if each point of view were my own. I think this ability accounts for my characters feeling like real people.
A colleague of mine at SFU, Chris Groeneboer, pointed out a Scientific American article about fiction called “In the Minds of Others”. The research suggests that fiction readers are better able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes: a talent that is handy for pysching out the competition and succeeding in team work as well as showing compassion.
What do you think? Are fiction authors experts at channeling “the other”?