Sunday, August 2, 2015

The puzzle frame

I've been reading more and more nonfiction over the years. But one thing I love about fiction, whenever I return to it, is that there's a definite ending.

There are some ambiguous endings in fiction, but for the most part, every piece of the story has a purpose, and the main plotline reaches some sort of conclusion. In nonfiction, there are no guarantees; there are loose threads. What we can know is limited by reality. There is no truly omniscient narrator, and some mysteries remain unsolved.

It's a comfort to know that every piece in a novel will, eventually, fit into the puzzle frame, even if it's not in a way we anticipated.

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