Over the last few years, I’ve been writing fiction. For decades, I’ve been a psychiatrist. As a novelist, I now write with a reader’s sensibility, and read with a writer’s eye. I’m struck by the degree to which fiction and psychology share certain crucial elements.
Human functioning can be conceptualized as involving thinking, feeling, and behavior. These three elements are the very pillars of being.
Fiction taps into these foundations of existence by using the written word to evoke mental images, which in turn, beget thoughts and feelings. A novelist creates a world for the reader to enter, and to which the reader relates. This is the essence of storytelling.