Who are you writing for? Are you writing for yourself? Or, are you writing for the reader? That’s a good question.
Hopefully, the answer is ”both.” Although writing might be considered to be a self-indulgent form of entertainment, it must also be appealing for others to want to read it. That is, unless you’re writing a personal diary and it is for your eyes only. But, obviously, that doesn’t fall into the category of fiction. You must write for the enjoyment of others, as well as yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I think it would be absurd to assume that a novel is one hundred percent pure fiction. Whether intentional or not, a certain degree of a story contains truths or facts. Many of these elements are based upon life experiences of the author, or perhaps an incident that happened to someone he or she has known. Maybe the basis of a story comes from a dream or even a nightmare.These truths and facts are usually only known to the writer.
It is very common for writers to unwittingly include some traits of their own personna into the characters of their story. For example, the benevolent qualities of the hero, or the evil dark side of the antagonist, may be the qualities that they possess themselves. Regardless, the clues about the writer’s own personality tend to surface, no matter how hard he or she tries to keep them hidden.
In essence, when you write, you put your innermost self out there. The reader must decide what is fact or fiction, and the answers can sometimes be found by reading between the lines.