The Power of Unreality


While fiction embraces the flights of fancy that come with imagination, nonfiction is fairly hostile to writers who stray too far away from the objective facts of the story. How closely should writers of nonfiction stick to facts? At Electric Literature, Justin Lawrence Daugherty makes the case for embracing some unreality in writing nonfiction:

We can talk about truth versus fact. We can talk about fiction’s job being to reveal something true about humanity or lived experience. But, I see in the unreal a sort of truth. The unreality is powerful. Perhaps we should embrace writing against the real.

Victor Luo is a graduate of UC Davis's MA in Creative Writing program specializing in fiction. He lives in Los Angeles where he loves never having to be cold. More from this author →