We writers live and die by stories. Perhaps everyone does. We understand life by the tales we live and tell. It’s always been that way. Shakespeare, Jesus, Mark Twain (I’ll bet that’s the first time those three have ever been mentioned in the same sentence), all presented their life’s principles in the stories they told. Now don’t get upset. I don’t mean to equate Jesus with Shakespeare and Twain. I know that each belongs on his proper level. But when it comes to storytelling, they have a lot in common. Each shows his ideas through his characters—their relationships, strengths, weaknesses, treacheries, and heroics.

I’ve heard a lot of folks say, “I only read non-fiction.” That makes me sad because I believe that those who don’t read fiction miss out—they miss the joy of storytelling, of example, of parables, of imagination.


  1. I LOVE this post, Pete. So much to ponder in such a succinctly and expertly written post. I believe that we do present our life's principles in our storytelling, even if we don't feel we are setting out to do so. Wonderful post!

  2. You are right about stories, fiction or real. Real science can be presented as stories for everyone. Goldratt was a master. Wish everyone knew that.

  3. I read this quote in an article in The Guardian this morning by Julian Barnes: "When you read a great book, you don't escape from life, you plunge deeper into it."

    I love to read fiction but it occurs to me that even those who read non-fiction are often reading fictional tales within them or stories that are similar to fiction. As long as people continue to read, I don't mind so much what flavour they enjoy.