Without a desire to examine the surrounding world—without intense curiosity about how things might look or sound or be told to others—people don’t generally feel powerful urges to create.
Science is an endless process. It builds on itself. But just like life, science means nothing if the fruits of its efforts aren’t shared with others.
“They can do all sorts of stuff with them computers. I heard on the radio that you can put all sorts of neat stuff together with these new computers they got now. They’re prob’ly just getting a bunch of them computers to keep the fire from, y’know, getting put out by the water. Oh, yeah, with all this new science and computer machines and stuff they can do lots of things like that -- easy.
Artists of all types spend their days telling stories of all types. When you consider that everybody has them, some more dramatic than others, perhaps, we begin to realize how important it is to simply pay attention whenever we can. When we do—when we notice and recognize the pointillistic aspects of a complex world told one story at a time, we gain an ever-so-slightly greater ability to refract and transform our own stories into creative enterprise that relate and resonate.
That experimental space of narrative invention is simultaneously the great dividing line between fiction and journalism, as well as the bridge between the two camps. Where journalism trades in carefully considered observations, backed up by sources and evidence, fiction makes sense of how received information fits into a larger cultural context. Where journalism digs up hard-to-reach raw minerals, fiction polishes them into jewels.