In defense of writing fiction

Why does writing fiction slowly start to disappear in schools? It starts out like wildfire in the early years, and then it starts to fade around middle school. The creative act of writing, the contours and swerves of storytelling, are replaced with a linear, rigid model of logic. State your hypothesis, introduce your main points, back up with....


The rational scientific style of writing wins out in the end. Why? Perhaps because that is what we assess, and that is what test-markers are looking for. Perhaps because our curriculum is structured to push students into academia, as that is seen as the holy grail of education (it is not). Perhaps because we see fiction as something that only professional authors do, and you're not going to be a professional author, so lets teach you something more useful.

Here are some statements that have no scientific backing, but I know to be true in my heart:

- writing fiction makes your non-fiction writing more engaging, easier to follow, and quite frankly, more interesting
- writing fiction is good for creative problem solving, as you need to write your way out of trouble
- writing fiction provides a different lens to view the world, seeing beauty in the simple acts of life, like pouring water into a glass and watching the it toss and crash against the side of the cup
- writing fiction reduces stress
- writing fiction opens a space for imaginative day-dreaming, which leads to innovation
- writing fiction is fun
- writing fiction encourages risk taking and resilience
- writing fiction leads to a deeper appreciation of books, both fiction and non-fiction

Should we value the writing of fiction more?

Please leave more in the comments.


  1. Writing fiction helps you become a better researcher

  2. - writing fiction develops fluency and authentic vocabulary
    - writing fiction can expand concepts of composition (non-fiction generally limits)
    - writing fiction is an opportunity to explore social and emotional issues

    Wonderful post, thanks for raising the issue!


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