The Good Thing About Fiction: You Don’t Need A Bibliography

I’ve been writing papers and discussion responses for days now. My head is ready to explode and if I have to read and comment on one more article regarding the human genome project, I’m going to scream.

I’m not a fan of this type of writing. I do it because I have to, not because I enjoy it. I mean really, who wants to sit down and write a twenty page paper on the drugs that cause birth defects just for fun? The entire process is long and tedious and the creator of migraines.

And writing references is the biggest pain in the ass.

How about I submit a little sheet with my signature promising that I didn’t steal or reproduce the work of someone else? I’d be good with that. But no, instead I’m looking up all of these sources and trying to pigeon hole them into some category and just praying that I’m choosing the correct style. And they look good to me, but NO. (“ZERO!! Check references”)

I spend more time writing out my references than I do writing the actual paper. Is it really necessary to italicize this and that? Is someone going to die if I put the date of publication at the end instead of the beginning? And what about the author’s name? Is the price of oil really going to be impacted if I spell it out instead of just using the first initial?

It’s bullshit.

It’s necessary bullshit.


And so I go at it again. Revise and review, spit and shine, until those references are so pretty and sparkly it makes me want to vomit. But boy, they look good on paper. I must have really done my research. Yup, must have.

Through this entire process, I’m reminded again and again how much I love fiction. Fiction is beautiful and poetic. It requires original thought and a mass amount of creativity. And it doesn’t require a damn bibliography (even though, if given half a chance, I can get pretty creative with a bibliography myself).

Could you imagine what a fiction bibliography would look like? It would be longer than the book itself.

See the following examples:

  • “I got this idea from when I was sitting at Starbucks and I ordered a Caramel Macchiato and they gave me a White Chocolate Mocha instead.”
  • “This idea came when I was listening to a random album on Spotify and this song came on that made me feel something that I needed to write down.”
  • “Yes, this sex scene is related closely (but not completely) to the one my friend Betty Lou told me about that happened to her friend’s friend’s cousin. Creative license taken. PS: Didn’t even know it was possible to stand on your head while giving it. She must do Yoga.”

Ah, the many reasons I love penning fiction.

Note: I’m not dogging non-fiction or academic articles. I read them and my life (and research) wouldn’t be complete without them. Anyone who wants to write them and enjoys it, I give you props because it certainly isn’t my forte.

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