Wednesday 29 May 2019


Fictive means creating or created by imagination. It can also mean not genuine.

Are works of fiction, such as my lovely romance Leave Nothing But Footprints fictive? I don't think they are – at least not entirely. Although partly produced fictively there's far more to creating a novel than fictiveness.

Authors often need to research facts – I learned a huge amount about photography to write this book, drew on my memory for  details such as campervanning disasters and toasting marshmallows, and took some of the walks through gorgeous Welsh scenery along with my characters.

I'd argue that even elements of a story which come directly from the author's imagination may still be genuine. For example Jess values the support of friends and learns to take pride in doing something well – those things are genuine, aren't they?

Then we come on to the actual typing out of the words, the editing, proofreading, cover creation, marketing etc etc. Some of these tasks may well require imagination, but the work doesn't stop there.

What do you think – are novels fictive?

If you've written something, fictive or otherwise, you may like to try this free entry writing competition. There's $4,000 on offer for 'the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative.

There's still just time to enter the draw for a free book in last week's Friday Freebie.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - your footprints are real ... as too your imagination ... both can lead us towards stories to read or write ... so your stories are real, not fictively not genuine ... does that make sense?! Cheers Hilary

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Imagination and real-life experiences - the best combination, Patsy! Thanks for that link.

Bubble said...

I love the word Fictive. I came across it as the 'fictive dream' when I was doing a creative writing course. That's where your writing is vivid enough to draw your reader right into the world of your book or story. It's what I always try to achieve: if I can't see the scene then it's not right yet. Plot, however, is another thing.

Patsy said...

@ Hilary – Yes, it makes sense to me!

@ Rosemary – I agree that the combination often works well.

@ Bubble – I hadn't heard the term fictive dream before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.