1. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Wishing fiction were real

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Thomas Kitchen, Oct 12, 2013.

    Hi all,

    This is something which has always bugged me, but I just wanted to have a nice discussion going. Basically, every time I read a book I love, or even see an artist's painting which inspires me, I realise that world doesn't actually exist. And it doesn't have to be science-fiction or fantasy related; it can be a drama, a sitcom such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S (I regularly wish I had friends like that), or something else entirely.

    It sometimes gets me down. When I finish a heavy writing session or have completed a novel, I have somehow "disappeared" from that world, and then I'm back in reality. Now don't get me wrong: reality has its own quirks and fascinating things, but some books and pictures just make me think - "Argh! Why can't I live in a world of spies/wizards/spaceships/aliens, etc.?"

    This was more of a thread to get things off my chest, but I do hope somebody else thinks this, and it's not just me! :p
     
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  2. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I think the same thing, and like you, not just with fantasy/sci-fi. I wish I could be a specific character from certain animes, for example.
     
  3. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I get the same feelings, you're definitely not alone. Even if there's destruction and the possibility of my death at any moment in the fictional world, I still would find it fascinating to live in it, with a purpose and goal for more important than slugging through reality.
     
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  4. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "I reject reality and substitute my own."
    -Doctor Who

    I do know what you're talking about (oh the times when I so wished I could've dived into Middle Earth when I was 13), but I think a lot depends on your perspective. This world just happens to be the way it is and I believe it's pointless to bury your head in the sand and pretend things like violence, betrayal, selfishness, DMV etc. don't exist.

    In fact, many of those books like LOTR, HP etc. have a fairly constant amount of violence and danger in them, more than what most of us face in our day to day lives. It might feel nice and cozy to read about Frodo & Co. wandering through the Old Forest, but how is it really that different from wandering through a dark forest/park yourself, esp. in an area where you know people have gotten mugged etc? Sure, you won't be facing orcs or knights with longswords, but those are just nitpicky details (and some guys do look and act an awful lot like orcs).

    Granted, friendships like those in the stories are pretty rare except when you're still a kid/teenager, but when you're over 18, you start to have so many responsibilities that most people have to limit the time they spend with their friends and over years you tend to grow apart or, at the very least, you don't see each other as often as when you were in high school.

    That's perhaps the one thing I miss most and envy in books: real friendships, non-blood-related people who'd take a bullet for you if it came to that (and you'd do the same for them, obviously). Perhaps that's just my inner romantic speaking though, since this, too, depends a lot on perspective and how you prioritize your life.
    The last I had friendships (almost) that close were when I was around 18-26, but nowadays there's just so little time to hang out what with that pesky thing called life getting in the way.

    I guess one way to get closer to fictional worlds is to lead a life as similar as possible: maintain your friendships the best you can, make sure you'd be useful to have around in a pinch, do cool stuff that takes you into places and situations you like to read about etc.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Isn't that why people read at all? To escape the 'real world' they live in, experience things they could never do in real life, be the people that do these exciting/fun/dangerous things? The better the story, the more it draws us into its world, the harder it is to come back down to earth. So yeah - perfectly natural.
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It doesn't bother me that the real world isn't the fiction world. But definitely coming to the end of some books leaves me with the sadness it's over.

    Enjoying the fantasy of a good story motivated me to write my own, especially since the roles of females in so many stories are awful. You have beauties who have few if any other redeeming qualities but even when they do, those qualities get very little emphasis in the story. And then there are the superhero women, which aren't real women, rather they are men superheroes changed up to either escape the cliché, or to pretend to be showing a liberated woman.

    My protag has all the other qualities emphasized that are barely mentioned in the older stories, and her beauty is there but gets minimal attention. The point is, I love being in those other worlds, but I wanted to write one that I controlled.
     
  7. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's one of my and KaTrian's bigger motivations for writing. I think, counting them all, our projects have more female than male MCs.
     
  8. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I think more people feel this way than they'll ever probably admit. But it's the part of the reason that we DO read books, watch movies, watch TV shows... I know I'm down right annoyed that our world doesn't have magic. Couldn't I just shoot a fire ball once? Or ride a giant totoro? I could really dig living with some soot balls.

    Nah, you're not alone in this. But it is one of the reasons I write... I want to share the worlds that I have in my head with others.
     
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  9. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Some good responses! Yes, I have to stop burying my head in the sand, but to a point - writing fiction is kind of about burying your head in the sand, after all. :D

    @TessaT - yeah, magic is cool. :( It's more science-fiction worlds that I enjoy, though, if I had to pick a genre to live in.
     
  10. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    lol, i feel sorry for my MC now all of a sudden -she is stuck dealing with... how many boys? Batos, Dragos, Arrcafah, Gunthran, Ardoway, Timmeus, Daxiim, Ghoul... *laughs* but it is all reasonable. She ends up captured by the villain, and he happens to be a member of a race that can only consist of males (i am NOT going to go into how they reproduce) there are several other female characters, and good ones at that. Still, i am guilty over it now lol.

    unless i can get some more feminine characteristics to be revealed in some of them... mmmm too many ideas! XD
     
  11. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're not satisfied with with this reality you really ought to fix that. I can think of few things more shameful.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it doesn't happen to me with reading, but since earliest childhood, i've often wished i could 'walk into' paintings of scenes that 'call to me'... even considered writing a tv series based on it [which hasn't been done yet, as far as i know!], so i could at least do it vicariously...
     
  13. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I don't think there's any reason to un-bury my head from all the other worlds. They help inspire me, drive me, they force me to look at myself compared to the characters and make me learn from situations that I may never be introduced to in real life.

    What kind of sci-fi? Do you want to fly through space and explore other worlds? Steampunk style? I'm so curious!! :D
     
  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Actually, when I was a kid I tried to recreate what I read with disastrous results ( it really makes me wonder about the responsibilities of ya
    fiction ) I attempted a career as Harriet the Spy with my best friend. Although, Harriet managed this without incident
    for so long, we were caught on like our sixth spy attempt! Lol. Then we tried to recreate the baby-sitters club and realized after 400
    handmade flyers, and two lousy jobs that nobody wanted to spend all day with little kids for four bucks an hour. I'm actually glad
    nobody can wave a wand, or time travel because if they could it would never work out like it does in fiction anyway.
     
  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I know the feeling...

    But I like to write about things I do irl, and I like to do things I write about. Of course I can't build a spaceship or go back in time to wage war against some Medieval tribe or do any cool magic stuff, but what I can do, I usually do.
     
  16. Lenny
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    Lenny New Member

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    definitely feel like this from time to time, any book, film or tv show that really grabs you and makes you wish that was your life is surely a great thing

    if I could write something just once that made somebody feel that, think I could be happy for the rest of my life
     
  17. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure I've ever wanted to live in fictional world but having the world suddenly and unceremoniously intrude upon one's immersion in a novel, or piece of music, or whatever, is viciously unsettling.

    Someone hollering up the stairs, 'Do you want anything at the shops?' while you're lost in a delightful passage (in a book - ed) is enough to boil the blood.

    Worse still, the blighter who, as the credits to a poignant and substantial movie have just begun to roll, cries 'Come on! Get a move on! The pub shuts in an hour.' A capital offence! I wish to stay awhile you bastard - with only the credit's music breaking the silence - and reflect upon the brevity of life or whatever theme the movie has grappled with.

    Yet, often, I suppose, those ugly intrusions, those unsolicited impositions and demands are, you know, an opportunity to make our own worlds a little better.

    'Life. Always life,' as Ray Carver used to say.
     
  18. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    @TessaT - I've never been able to read steampunk. I just can't get into it. However, I'm sure I wouldn't mind living in that sorta world! :D Spaceships are fascinating, I find, and I much prefer seeing other worlds than seeing what our world would be like in the future. I sometimes like a balance of sci-fi and fantasy, but not too much, a la Pern series.

    And I generally like "shiny" futures, although I can't think of many right now. I haven't actually read much sci-fi (I've mainly watched it), and since I'm a notoriously slow reader, I really should get cracking...
     
  19. Morgan Willows
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    Morgan Willows Member

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    Apparently it happens to lots of people. I mean, come on, "Avatar-induced depression" was actually a thing (I think it still is in some areas). Book hangovers are also a thing; that period after finishing a book when you can't pick up another because you're still immersed in the previous one (I get book hangovers... a lot. For some books, I get them so bad, the only thing for it is to reread the book immediately if there's not another in the series). There's even an amusing post I've seen floating around Tumblr with various fandoms' general consensus:
    "Harry Potter - I wanna go to Hogwarts!
    LotR - I wanna go to Middle-Earth!
    C.S. Lewis - I wanna go to Narnia!
    Doctor Who - I wanna get in the TARDIS!
    Hunger Games - Nope. I'm good."

    I think the only fictional world I ever really desperately wanted to be real was Dragonlance. Good lord was I obsessed with Dragonlance from, like, 3rd grade to my junior year of high school. My sophomore year history teacher was astounded that I could rattle off every detail of anything Dragonlance - everything about the races, the regions, the economy, the mythology, and hours worth of information about the various wars and when they were fought and who the heroes were - but I couldn't pass a current events test to save my life (It took going to college to make real-world history interesting enough for me to retain the information from the class). Harry Potter comes in at a close second.

    Then again, both of those series have one thing in common (aside from dragons) which is that I got into them before I was old enough to work/get out of high school. Pretty much anything remotely related to school was absolutely miserable for me then and the rest of my life wasn't exactly spectacular either. Books were the only escape I had (because books are cheap, especially used copies) and Dragonlance was the first really immersive world I found... so I escaped as hard as I could and if I could have escaped any harder, like if a door to it appeared that I could have walked through, I probably would have >.> Anything to get away from teachers who didn't care, counselors who couldn't counsel their way out of a wet paper bag, bullies out to straight up murder me (not hyperbole), and a whole ton of various "we can't pay all the bills" problems at home.

    I don't really have the "I want to go to X fictional world" impulse these days (well, except for maybe Firefly, haha). Probably because, not only do I not have to worry nearly as often as before about whether I'll have a roof over my head from one week to the next, I'm also too busy writing and building the world my books are in. I don't need other fictional worlds, I have my own and I can wander off into it whenever I like.
     
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