Truth in fiction. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Fiction is made up stories culled from the author’s imagination, ideas creatively crafted into worlds and characters. But each author, each story, has a truth inside and the writing is the attempt to get it out.
It can be a story of redemption, of reconciliation, of the victory of good over evil. Fiction conveys these truths through stories that put characters in situations where issues such as abuse, trauma, or death have to be confronted, choices have to be made.
Characters face challenges that make them confront who they are as people. Are they brave, noble, sacrificing? Or, are they vain, greedy, fearful? If done well, how the character responds to these challenges leads the reader to discover truth about themselves and the world.
The author’s challenge is to be entertaining without being preachy. Think of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Stories that took us on adventures to fantastic places yet left us with kernels of eternal truth.