People sometimes tell me that my book’s ending makes them cry. And that makes me happy.
Not that I want to cause anyone any angst. Readers usually mean that the ending has moved them somehow, that they related to it deeply enough that their emotions overflowed. What could be better news for a writer?
I am hoping, when telling my stories, to use the tools of fiction to communicate truth. Are my characters real? No. Is the situation real? No. Is the transformation real? Yes.
I’ve often thought that fiction allows us to experience things we would otherwise never know. If the fiction is “real” enough, we gain a memory of something we didn’t have to physically experience. Yet, in experiencing the fiction, we become more compassionate for those who have experienced it in fact.
This has been known to change the world. Look at The Jungle. How else would people have discovered the misery of the meatpacking industry? Certainly few had ever walked those blood-soaked floors. Yet they read that book and felt something. It caused them to take action. And lives were changed.
What books have changed the world for you?