To be a good writer of fiction, one should be a student of human behavior…

A good story should reflect human nature as it is: flawed, corrupt, tormented, hateful, judgmental…. heroic, generous, compassionate, caring, curious, courageous, and so much more.  “Human beings are subtle, complex and unpredictable” Fred White explains in his July/ August 2014 Writer’s Digest article. “and one of the challenges of art is to capture that subtlety, complexity and unpredictability while still adhering to story design.  To be a good writer of fiction, one should be a student of human behavior, to be ever curious about what makes people do what they do, or fail to do what they long to do.”

Human Beings ARE complex and within that complexity lay frustration, contradiction and fear.  The process of writing good fiction, and of reading good fiction, draws this complexity out like good medicine drawing out infection.  It enables our readers to vicariously experience life through the various different psyches of people, who although may be different from one another share enough of these complex characteristics or dilemmas to be able to identify with them.  By observing and studying human psychology or behavior, we provide our readers with the opportunity to undergo a cathartic therapy just as we fictionalized our own before they ever met us at the first chapter.  Our readers become our characters or at the very least feel empathy, seeking their own redemption or answers, because we writers took something universal and found a creative and entertaining way to make it personal.  And for the reader, that is good fiction at its best.

2 thoughts on “To be a good writer of fiction, one should be a student of human behavior…

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