The Reality within the Narrative

Just what is a fact in a story? This is a concept that I have worked to understand ever since I first started writing my story. The reality of and within a narrative is significant to what can be considered a fact in one’s story. This concept is seen in various genres and can impact in story.

To begin, I want to explain what I mean by the reality within the narrative. I’ll use Harry Potter as an example. Within the narrative of this story, the reality is that there is a world of wizards that has the ability to interact with and impact the real world. We understand that the world that Harry and his friends live in is different from our world, seeing that we don’t see young teens running through walls in terminals. However, within the narrative, we understand that the wizarding world is very real for Harry, thus being real within the narrative.

So how does a writer make their facts real within the narrative of their story? A lot of why we are able to see things like magic as a reality for a narrative is the way in which J. K. Rowling is able presents these facts. This is something that I struggled with initially with my story and writing it. My main struggle was that I wasn’t very clear or specific. Looking at something like Harry Potter again, we can see that the rules of Hogwarts are very clear both within this realm as well as with its interaction with the real world. If the reality that you are writing about is far removed from the real world, one would have to show what the rules of this world are. What are the laws? What is the wild life like? What is the government and  societal structure of this narrative’s reality? These types of questions would have to be clearly answered in order to firmly identify the facts of your narrative’s reality.

How one does this is up to the writer. For me, I prefer to avoid info dumping. That’s not to say that I don’t have exposition in my stories. I try to lean more towards showing instead of telling. I hope this was helpful!


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