Writing and Escapism: Are fiction books just entertainment?

Writing and Escapism

Writing and Escapism; these two concepts seem to be intertwined together. We often look at our reading and writing habits a form of escapism. We read about hero’s saving the day and villains getting their justice. For many, we read and write to escape from the daily grind. However, books are more than just entertainment.

  • There are social benefits to reading/writing.
    • People feel connected to you when you enjoy the same things they do. This not only goes for television shows, but also books and writing. I know for myself, I feel more connected to writers because I am also going through that same struggle.
  • Story enhancement
    • It’s fairly well known that many television shows and movies don’t capture a story as well as a book does. Sometimes, it’s best to read a book to get the true flavor of a story. Author’s are not restricted by budgets the same way that a television show is.
  • Refinement
    • There is a joke in a popular movie that the main character must be important because they have many leather bound books. They are trying to show that they have refined tastes when it comes to literature. However, I think that books are more than just a refinement of taste. Instead I think that they, like other forms of art, help refine who you are. Art makes you think about what the artist is trying to show and then examine how you feel about it. Books are the same way. They make you think about who you are and how that would work in the book’s environment.
  • Non-obvious knowledge
    • A fantastic example of book revealing non-obvious knowledge is when a person reads a humor book. When reading a humor book you can learn what jokes work well and why. That’s fairly amazing as many jokes are about timing. However, you can’t predict timing when you are reading the joke. Instead, you have to work on the prose of the joke in a way that most people will understand the humor.

Overall, I think there are many benefits to reading and writing fiction beyond just entertainment. Writing fiction buildsĀ our creativity and knowledge as we build their fictional worlds.