Like everybody else, I run into strange, but common assumptions about fiction every day - sometimes in reviews, sometimes in my own head. They happen automatically. These assumptions contaminate good thought quickly, ruin chances of any meaningful discussion, and slip away before you realize it. When you do catch one, even a momentary examination is both embarrassing and illuminating. Here’s some I see all the time, under one guise or another:
1) The assumption that the story is about providing you with answers, instead of questions.
2) The assumption that the author agrees with the characters’ actions, choices, opinions, thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes, fashion sense, or outlook on the world.
3) The assumption that every character represents something larger than themselves, such as age, gender, ethnicity, race, nation, religion, occupation, or any other group.
4) The assumption that any discernible lack - particularly of any of the groups mentioned above - is a deliberate political statement, or, at the very least, a showing of author’s unconscious “true colors”. In effect, that is—
5) The assumption that the story has to reflect the entire world, somehow.
6) The assumption that the author thinks the story is the best possible version of the story.
7) The assumption that the story is the author’s argument against all other (types of) stories.
8) The assumption that the logic of the story has to match the logic of the real world, instead of it’s own internal logic.
9) The assumption that the author has absolute and complete control, from initial idea to final complete form, and that there are no mistakes or oversights.
There’s more, and they are all hard (or impossible) to get rid of. For me at least — your experience might be different. I wouldn’t want to assume. Originally I wanted to write about these in more detail, but I decided to offer them like this, without further comment. Even if there are no solutions, just examining it should be useful enough.