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Personal Philosophy

Fiction, a Trial Run for Life’s Issues, without the risks

A realistic setting, with emotional magnetism, fumbling exchanges, & selfish schemes, pulls me from my comfort zone to change my view of life

Good fiction puts me emotionally into the situation from the start. I imagine what it’s like living in that house, among those people, with their expectations of me. I wonder how the character that I have identified with will get out of the mess. Sometimes, I want to jump into the story and slap some sense into one of the characters.

The story pulls me from chapter to chapter.

First, the setting needs to be believable, even with science fiction. Then, the story must fit into that setting.

Some readers desire escape, others romance with happy endings, and then mindless action and sex stimulate many. For me, new situations and environments that give me something to think about and analyze.

The Starstruck series by Brenda Hiatt included a potential Carrington Event on steroids that would have damaged all electrical systems on Earth.

For days, I considered who would survive if everything connected to the electric grid or a battery, like your car, computers, smartphones, refrigerator, electric stove, electric power plants, and every transformer from the power plant to your house were fried. Would I? Would you? What food do you have in your pantry? How would workers get anywhere to fix things and are there enough spare parts?

I compare the situations and characters to the real world. How many people do I know just like them? Have I ever been in a similar situation? What would I do? I guess in advance, but am rarely correct.

Good writing is well researched and plausible, even when it is not something that I would do. I usually avoid pure escapism.

The book’s structure, itself, is important. I like to get into the character’s mind and prefer multiple points of view, even of the same event. With movies, you are watching from the outside and rarely know for sure why they do what they do. Things are not always as they appear.

A good book can give an internal perspective and should feel like a biography.

Here is a sample review of a 3-book collection, set in the art world and the war of 1812:

Untold Tales of a Noble Lady: A Historical Regency Romance Collection
by Hanna Hamilton ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The 1840 version of the casting couch. Intentional suppression of artistic talent. Paternal decisions without the least consideration of the wishes, or even the benefit, of the individuals involved. All three books kept me guessing. Well worth the wait to find out what happens.

The first two stories demonstrate the time required to become a recognized expert in the music or painting world. There is not much time left for anything else, especially romances and business. Then, family expectations make things even worse.

Expecting a third book based on the arts, I was dumped into the middle of the war of 1812, with the heroine’s unwilling participation. The sleazy fiancé, negotiated for by her father, was even worse than she initially thought. The pirate that captured her was just the opposite.

All three were packed with surprises, mostly pleasant surprises, but still unpredictable until the very end.

Having never worked with high-level professional artists, the first two books gave me a new perspective on their lives.

Not all novels are a good match, but like internet dating, some are perfect and others miss the mark completely. You will eventually gravitate to those that work for you. For me, a good novel makes me think about something new and interesting. That is exciting and I don’t have to take any risks!

William “Bill” Myers, Analyzes all, Programmer, retired. If you learn anything new, find enjoyment, have a new thought, then I’m successful. Photo: 1st article

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