I read a quote on tumblr a while back that said something like “There is no such thing as fiction and non-fiction. There is only narrative.” For writers of both fiction and non-fiction, this is worth some meditation. We get it in our minds that non-fiction is about things that are real or true, and fiction is about things that aren’t real or true.
Now of course anyone who has ever connected to a novel would say that there are many things that are very true about that novel, things that reflect the reality of life as a human on Earth, even if those particular events never actually happened in precisely that way.
Also anyone who has ever done any non-fiction research knows that 90% of all non-fiction is a cocktail of misconceptions, generalizations, abstract wandering, inaccuracies and down-and-out lies. If it weren’t, we would have had the world figured out by now.
So if its not fiction or non-fiction, it’s just narrative. It’s just someone telling a story about how the whole thing looks from their angle.
In the Turkish language they don’t talk about fiction and non-fiction. There is a word for it, but it isn’t used very often and it certainly isn’t the broadest demarcation of writing the way it is in english.
So why put up the mental barrier?
Maybe it’s time to break it down.