The knower as an artist, revisited

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About 10 days ago, I began a new course of study, which will last for four months. Last year, I took some books out of the library about writing fiction. I got to thinking about it because I loved watching movies so much, and I wondered how stories were dreamed up and written. When I read the books, I didn't think that I would consider trying it myself. But by the end of the year, I had made some fundamental shift within, and opened up to the possibility. As it turned out, I noticed an advertisement in a magazine for an online course in fiction writing, and after looking into it, I realised it was just what I wanted and needed. So I here I am, surrounded and committed.

Despite my initial apprehension, by the time the course began in mid-February, I couldn't stop thinking about it, I was so excited. And the first week and a half have not disappointed. The book used as a textbook for the course is Janet Burroway's Writing fiction. From reading that, I was introduced to some amazing things that I never realised had anything to do with writing fiction. She said things like that stories do not come out of ideas but rather out of images and obsessions. And she said things like that

"Fiction is written not so much to inform as to find out, and if you force yourself into a mode of informing when you haven't yet found out, you're likely to end up pontificating or lying some other way." (p5)

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Well, of course, when I read this, I could see how it related to what the Baha'is are doing with telling people about the Baha'i revelation. The Baha'is are completely given over to 'informing' and not 'finding out' and end up 'pontificating'. You see, the principle applies across the board. Sometimes, of course, it is appropriate to pontificate, such as in some teaching situations. But when it comes to things like fiction and revelations - hey, what's the difference, in that both are founded on stories; it's just that revelations are divine stories and fiction is made of human-made stories - then pontificating isn't going to get you very far.

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