On The Importance Of Fiction Writing

Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around

On Writing, Stephen King

The simple truth in modern America, men are not as interested in reading fiction as they should be.

Frankly, this is very unfortunate for the mind and spirit of American men. Fiction, since the dawn of mankind, has nurtured men’s souls, provided entertainment and solace in meager times. It has been an outlet for the myriad of emotions and thoughts men have. The ability to suspend disbelief and run and roam through the wilds of imagination has been a very real tool to provide refuge against the trials of human life.

Story Tellers

The power of a great tale and polished storyteller exists in every society. Whether it is simply storytellers of yore who would draw bar patrons around a rapacious fire and tell fantastical tales to their rapt audience or modern writers of today—typing away into the night on their Mac books—the power of a fictional story cannot be denied. Whether the point of the yarn is to inspire, horrify or transmit cultural or moral values is irrelevant. Fiction has a real and firm place in every society.

In America, the greatest writers either dabbled in fictional world or made the crafting of fictional tales their sole pursuit. From Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain to H.P. Lovecraft they all polished the art of crafting fictional worlds. When confronted with the limitless world of imagination, they were able to hone their literary voices, for many purposes. Poe haunted readers with his chilling tales of the queer and horrific, Hemingway dazzled readers with his masterful command of storytelling.

Yet, it isn’t just the simple value of a well-told tale. Fiction writing allows a writer to explore the metes and bounds of the human condition. Books like Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men help us understand the nature of power and ambition in America, John Updike’s Rabbit novels explore the state of a man against the back drop of social changes in America. British writers George Orwell and Adlous Huxley both explored themes of dystopia in their fictional novels. Fictional worlds allow writers to test theories about how the world works against believable and relatable hand-drawn characters. Also, it can be subversive, as fiction allows a writer to criticize people or institutions indirectly.

The distance from reality that fiction affords us to see the world through different lenses. Swedish writer Henrik Ibsen shed light on the coming internal anguish of Western women in A Doll’s House. The play is about a woman who absconds wholly from her family life, foreshadowing the coming malaise of heterosexual women and the concomitant collapse of the family. Margaret Atwood’s execrable The Handmaiden’s Tale explores the modern woman’s sheer terror of family life, sex and religion. In it, a totalitarian Christian sect takes over America, resulting in the collapse of gender equality and the creation of a world based on violent hierarchy.  While both of these yarns are based out of unhealthy thought patterns, it sheds light on the perspectives of women.


It might be tempting to dismiss fiction as purely speculative as it allows imaginations to run wild, whether to personal horror like in The Call Of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft or to fearful feminist alchemy like in the aforementioned The Handmaiden’s Tale. Even in the case of Margaret Atwood, it allows one to peer into the mind of the author and the minds of her audience. Which is a key value of fiction: it allows us to see what is popular or popular to certain folks and, hopefully, we can learn something. We can learn of the inner dread of Americans by Stephen King’s sheer popularity, we can see how terrified feminists are of men with their speculative patriarchy fan-fiction.

In sum, we can derive much value from fiction. We could enjoy a yarn about a rapid dog like in King’s Cujo; we could appreciate a muckraking novel about the meatpacking industry like in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Regardless, value of fiction stems from its ability to allow us to suspend disbelief and step into an alternate reality. It could inspire or horrify us, it could allow us to consider and appreciate different viewpoints. No matter what, fiction simply allows us see a different version of reality. The purposes of that vary widely by genre or author, but it gives us humans a temporary departure from the drag of day to day life.

Here is a shortlist of fictional novels that I have enjoyed:

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89 thoughts on “On The Importance Of Fiction Writing”

  1. I have to say I quite enjoy the cultural oriented articles on ROK. Good reading suggestions Wycked, thanks.

  2. Except for well crafted allegorical fiction like,
    “Of Mice And Men, fiction is a waste of time.
    We live, eat, and breathe fiction almost every
    minute of our lives as it is.
    Religion,Politics, our educational system, the media
    are all conduits for the decemination of lies and
    What we need is the bitter medicine of TRUTH
    and self examination. Long term, only that makes
    life worth living

    1. Perhaps Santa Claus can bring you a dictionary next Christmas so you can look up “fiction” and “dissemination.”

        1. The point of his comment is foolish. He’s saying that men shouldn’t read fiction books because the gov and media are liars. It makes no sense.

    2. *tips fedora*
      Hey ‘bro’ – I am with you. I also know how dood is feel to know the TRUTH! I don’t need some phony governments blessing, I am am enlightened by my own intelligense. I also don’t need religion! Those suckers are just wasting there time
      YUou’re the only person I identify with on thois whole thread. Pls respond

  3. Wow, I’ve never heard of this fiction stuff before. It sounds fascinating.

  4. You could say that Atwood anticipated the rise of Neoreaction. How about a novel by a woman which shows that the traditional patriarchs have a legitimate point of view, and that women can thrive under their protection? I’ve gathered that the popular “bonnet novels,” romance novels about women characters in Amish and Mennonite communities, tend to portray that religious sort of patriarchy in a positive way.

  5. King and Koontz do nothing for the mind.
    Best masculine American authors: Hemingway, Faulkner, Melville, McCarthy.
    Suttree, Blood Meridian and The Road should be required reading for everyone. Ditto Farewell To Arms, Moby Dick, As I Lay Dying and The Sound and The Fury.

    1. Blood Meridian should be the go to book for all ROK reader’s. Not a single mention of feminism or any feminist related issues, which is surprising for a contemporary piece of literature.

      1. McCarthy is only good for insomnia. The dude spends 2000 words describing a simple fucking room. GTFO Cormac, you’re possibly the most boring writer ever. Zzzzzz

        1. You need to re-program yourself. If you’re such an internet click-head that you can’t chill out, slow your mind down and read Cormac then you’re brain needs rewiring. Cormac is a God on earth.

        2. Lol, I’d rather read Dostoevsky. Or a scholarly dissertation on the evolution of DOS

        3. I like Dostoyevsky but most of his work constitutes a few thousand pages of a Sunday school lesson. Whereas McCarthy creates pieces of literature which have no comparison and are built on widely diverse subjects such as Blood Meridian: Gnosticism, historical metafiction and Western revisionism.

        4. Yes but McCarthy can get a little samey. his early work is like a rip off of Faulkner.
          Dostoyevsky was brilliant at writing characters and dramatizing moral conflicts. He peered deep into the souls of his characters. McCarthy is much less interested in ‘psychological realism’–his characters are defined by their actions and the landscape surrounding them–so they are completely different writers.

        5. McCarthy’s first novel the Orchard Keeper was actually picked up by Faulkner’s editor Albert Erskine who continued to edit for McCarthy for the next twenty years. It seems that McCarthy’s writing varies depending on where he is living. Once he moved to El Paso his work tended to be in the South West. Could you recommended a Pynchon or Faulkner novel to start off with? I’ve heard good things but never got rout to reading any of their work.

        6. One thing that Dostoyevsky and McCarthy have in common which makes them great writers is their ability to tell stories within a story such as the inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov and Holden’s story of the shop keeper who murders a traveller in Blood Meridian. It’s fair to say I did give a rather narrow definition of Dostoevsky.

        7. Faulkner; As I Lay Dying and The Sound and The Fury should be read first.
          Pynchon: start with The Crying Of Lot 45 because it’s a novella and hence shorter than his other works. He is a demanding author so it’s best to start small. That’s what i did.

        8. I couldn’t make it through the first five pages of Orchard Keeper. What Bukowski can say in five words Cormac says in five thousand.

        9. “I am on a boat trying to find a white whale.”
          There. I just said in eleven words what Melville required 130,000 to say.
          You’re just making a fool of yourself by trying dismiss Cormac.
          You want to dismiss a writer pick from the ethnic frauds like Alexie or Amy Tan. Or someone like DF Wallace. But to dismiss Cormac makes you look dumb, really.

        1. Blood Meridian is difficult to put into words, but it’s one of those books that will give you a different perspective on human nature. Unlike The Road it doesn’t have any for lack of a better word “heroic” characters but I think that was McCarthy’s intention.

    2. Those are my big five too, exactly. Hemingway, Faulkner, Melville, McCarthy, Conrad. Add in Jim Harrison and some of the brillaint noir writers; Chandler, Ellroy, Hammett. I want to start committing more to the Russians also. One detail is that Conrad was Polish, living most of his life in England when not sailing, I think. English was his second language which is mind boggling.

      1. Agree. Brothers Karamazov is great but it can be a real slog. ‘The Devils’ probably isn’t worth anyone’s time unless you are a big on D and want to read everything.
        He did waffle on a bit, but that’s part of his style. It’s unavoidable! hehe.
        Luckily he wrote a lot of great shorter works too. e.g House Of The Dead, The Double, Notes From The Underground, The Eternal Husband.

  6. For masculine books…try Stephen Hunter…the Bob Lee swagger and Earl Swagger books….badass and great prose. Also…Greg Iles….John Grisham-esque but with more intelligent prose, plots and readability.

  7. The Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser are funny, politically incorrect, and full of insights on human nature.

  8. Todays men only watch TV. Stuff that will make them even more beta and blue pill, like How I met your mother (which is about how being a nice beta bitch boy pays off), or CSI which is about how all men are rapist and pedophiles. Everything has a hidden agenda, a hidden message because if you’re not “politically correct” there’s no way your movie will ever be aired.
    TV is complete and utter propaganda, no better than Hitlers or Stalins.

  9. I can add “Atlas Shrugged”.
    There you see the difference between mediocre and exceptional minds…

    1. The far left hate Ayn Rand. Stories of masculine virtue and achievement written by a woman.

    2. Ayn –Alissa Rosenbaum– Rand was a half-witted, meglomaniacal, hamster-driven cunt. Atlas Shrugged is a poorly written borefest. Try reading actual literature, kid. You don’t need that crazed bitch’s third rate inadequate copying of Nietzsche to develop an anti-left perspective. As has been said about women in general in this part of the internet applies to her too: Don’t listen to a woman. She’s wrong as all fuck and anything she did get right she got it off a man.

      1. You think that’s bad? Read her novella “Anthem”, when they say a writer spends his entire career trying to say one thing they really meant it.

      1. Graham Greene, “Our Man in Havana” …
        After reading it, I now suspect every spy secretly harbours a desire to collect liquor miniatures in the event that they’re needed for that One Amazing Day. 🙂

  10. Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim” is an incredible book, the tone and mood of his writing is hard to explain but that Apocalypse Now movie captured the tone pretty well I’d say. Heart of Darkness is very short, Lord Jim is pretty much considered as his best novel and is about 240 pages and it touches on all the main themes in his other books. It’s an adventure story about a western guy who is living in the middle of the jungle in Asia.

  11. I just finished the first of the Gor novels. Red pill as fuck. Female domination by way of Conan the Barbarian. Like Game of Thrones meets 50 Shades of Grey. Great book.

  12. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide is awesome book, I have it almost memorized.
    I also suggest if it is possible to find in English or other than Czech language “30 let na zlatém severu, Jan Welzl (30 years on gold north, Jan Welzl)”.
    It is awesome (but based on real story not fiction) book about man who traveled half the world, survived worst conditions of old US and Canada in time of gold fever and settled almost at north pole where he became very respected man for his work and dedication to work.

  13. Reading is a lot like lifting. Start with the easy, light stuff (Grisham, Chrighton, Clancy) and with a little training you’re devouring more complicated books (Dostovesky, Melville, Bradbury). And like exercise, an ambitious reading program is just as necessary for men.

  14. Funny you mention Cujo by SK…. apparently he was so coked up, on pills and drunk when he wrote that book, he can’t remember writing it…. shortly afterwards his family staged an intervention and he’s been clean ever since…. so effectively Cujo was his demon addicted self… it was since subconscious struggle with addiction…
    I admit these days, that it’s so much easier to ‘watch the movie’…. for all the progress our brains have become media addled….
    Back in the day the masters like Van Gogh, Leonardo etc. painted incredible works but today you just snap a pic with your phone…. the power of adversity….. no one can paint like that anymore…. because they don’t have to.

  15. I’d recommend the ‘Black Company’ Trilogy by Glen Cook. The books are an easy read, yet are highly nuanced and descriptive despite the books’ simplicity. Red Pill message: Sometimes, as a man, you gotta do what ya’ gotta do to get the job done even when your methods seem ‘unpopular’. And Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ books are a must for any Sci-Fi fan. A strong rhetoric and engaging character developments dominate the books’ expressive/excessive landscape; (opinion) perhaps the best written protagonist(s) I’ve ever read in a Sci-Fi genre. Red Pill message: Know when you’re being manipulated and exploit the manipulators.

  16. I wrote a similar post a couple months ago: “Why fiction? Why reading?
    The most interesting people are almost always readers, in addition to whatever else they do. Someone who never reads is almost always someone with blinkered vision. Specialization really is for insects.

    1. Agree with this guy completely. It’s not about lies or truth, fiction is teaching you to see different perspectives and ideas via made up stories. It’s training your brain to approach problems through different avenues. Where someone who never reads can only rely on a single limited lifetime of experience and a single perspective an individual who reads can live hundreds of lifetimes and garner wisdom from the lives of fictional characters. In short people who read don’t have to touch the stove to figure out its hot. You can learn from the experience and wisdom of others.

  17. For me, there is no greater insight to human psychology than via fiction. You can learn more about how women think by reading “Gone With the Wind” than you can by taking a Psychology 101 course. The ability to analyze a person’s thought process over a span of time, rather than via a theory or case study, makes it highly effective.
    Also, some topics can only be discussed fictionally, due to their sensitive nature.
    Alex Haley put it best when he said, “I don’t write fiction. I write faction.”

  18. Every man should be required to read “MOBY DICK” at age 18.
    There’s a reason why this is considered the seminal work of American writing.
    The only worthwhile fiction I would add is “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “Catch-22” and any of the big guns from the Cormac McCarthy cannon. All thoroughly red pill through and through.

    1. “Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure….. Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle , and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?”

  19. The problem with a lot of fiction today is that much of it is tailored towards women. Men don’t tend to get have fiction made for them anymore (or it’s poorly made) so they’ve mostly stopped consuming it (or at least new stuff).
    I do agree that it’s instructive to read what others read as a way to gain insight into their perspective. Furthermore, I believe that art reflects reality. Look at the Twilight books/films. These media encapsulate the mindset of most modern women in the west pretty well. We see that the main character is the center of attention of two good looking guys (she wants one but he keeps himself emotionally distant) while she uses the other as an emotional dump and takes advantage of his liking of her. The whole thing is just one huge courtship dance that’s been extended into multiple books/films. It effectively ends in a non-ending. There’s a massive confrontation but turns out that it never happened, and ultimately she gets the guy for all eternity with no downsides. This too reflects the state of women in the west today: They are usually sheltered from the consequences of their actions. If they make poor choices they have ways to get out of it (however with the economy going the way that it is that won’t be the case for much longer, and then they will be feeling the consequences…harshly).
    Contrast that with Interview With the Vampire (the film adaptation of the novel) and there ARE consequences for being a vampire. Kirsten Dunst has to spend all eternity as a child even though she wants to grow into a woman, and Louis doesn’t cope well with becoming a bloodsucker, not to mention sunlight actually kills them, they can’t enjoy the things we take for granted (food, taking walks in the park at noon). It has its perks, but there are steep drawbacks as well. It shows a stark contrast in thinking with these two things where they are about the same topic but handle it in a very different way.
    Personally I like science fiction, but much of it today (of what little there is) is mostly garbage. There’s a huge market out there for guys outside of just self-improvement. Somebody that has lived an interesting life can usually write fiction better than people who don’t do anything with theirs even if they can’t “write” for shit. The content matters more than the prose. A big issue is that society seems to be about being gritty and there’s a feeling of hopelessness about the future. Good fiction can show and inform that the opposite is true. That there’s a fulfilling life of adventure and discovery out there if you’re only prepared to reach out and take it.

    1. It’s either tailored toward women, or is a miasma of leftoidery. And/or nihilism (like Game of Thrones).

        1. I don’t watch the show, but doesn’t it showcase war as a way to achieving power?
          Hint for you: War = Nihilism.

  20. Reality-based fiction makes for the best literature. Bukowski, Kerouac, Hunter. S. Thompson, Henry Miller, etc.

  21. Hey Fellas!
    I just saw the film-version of “The Handmaid`s Tale” from 1990.
    A great film and a beautiful vision of what the world could be like, if people got their act together.
    Too bad they didn`t hang the bitch, but hopefully, they`ll get her later.
    Here Fellas, you can watch it for free:
    Take care.

      1. No, I`m not trolling.
        That is how society should be.
        If you don`t think so, then take your mangina-crap elsewhere.
        Long live the Republic of Gilead!

  22. The great thing about fiction is that it can express an idea, and make it stick, far better than just saying it in plain words. To me the first world war was some distant historical war; it had no relevance to me. But Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” made me realise how brutal the war was and what the effect it had, psychologically, on the men who survived it. (The novel is about the “lost generation”.)

  23. I have nothing against fiction, but it tends to feel like a waste of time when either I could be directly learning through nonfiction or entertaining myself with something “useless” like video games.
    I would just suggest reading a lot, but primarily reading nonfiction, or reading what entertains you.

    1. And since we’re sharing recommendations, “Of Mice and Men” and “Where the Red Fern Grows” are excellent, though I don’t think either would be considered particularly “red pill”.

    2. I recommend reading fiction to entertain yourself instead of playing video games. Reading improves your vocabulary and grammar. Then when you talk to women, you sound educated, sophisticated, and more intelligent. Not that any bangable women will appreciate your literary knowledge of good fictional novels nor relate to them, you most certainly would not be able to relate to them talking about completing level 10 in Call of Duty or whatever video game.

      1. I already have solid reading and writing skills and am pretty well-rounded; extensively self-educated in the humanities. “Worldly”, in short.
        Your advice is good for many people, but I like to read books on history and economics.
        Fiction can be useful, but nonfiction is even more useful than fiction, and if you’re getting enough of the latter I don’t see why it matters what the rest of your time goes for (well, aside from personal projects and exercise).

  24. Here is a list of a few badass southern and midwestern authors:
    Larry Brown (Joe)
    William Gay (The Long Home)
    Frank Bill (Crimes in Southern Indiana)
    Donald Ray Pollock (The Devil All the Time)
    Harry Crews (A Childhood: The Biography of a Place)
    Tom Franklin (Hell at the Breech)
    and of course Cormac McCarthy, but he’s already been mentioned a few times.

  25. As a fiction writer myself, I agree with this. Unfortunately the state of storytelling is in a bad way in the present day and age. I hope to remedy that.
    In terms of the works themselves, I find that Homer is by far the best. His works really can’t be rivaled by anybody. Though they may not fall under the definition of a modern fiction, in terms of storytelling, there’s nothing that beats the Trojan War mythos.

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