Yes, it's fiction. A short story. A novel. A drama. A comedy. Science-fiction. Fantasy. Make-believe.
But it's not only make-believe. The reality is it takes inspiration and imagination to write it. And in order for it to be readable, it takes a basic knowledge of the - in our case - English language and its grammar plus some of the parameters for storytelling.
I certainly cannot speak for any authors other than myself. Although I have things, quirky and otherwise, in common with many authors, I have my own perspective on the writing life, what it requires, and what are its optimum and minimum goals.
I can tell you this much: it takes discipline. That is if you're serious about writing. Now the exercise of said discipline varies from those who set aside an amount of time every day to write to those who demand a specified word count from themselves every day to those who play it by ear and rely on inspiration, prayer, and hope (that would be me). We all have our own disciplines established by what works - or doesn't - for us and our lifestyles.
I confess I let my discipline(s) lapse. A lot of life's happenings contributed to that, but, honestly, I have no excuses - just reasons. I am slothing and slogging my way back to the discipline I need to finish the trio of novels I began some time ago and need and want to finish. At present, they are all in different phases of the process. So I have returned to the first of the three I started and am making tiny steps to renew the writing discipline. (And I welcome your prayers. Those of you who've been so faithful to pray for me: finally some affirmative results. Please don't stop now.)
So. There is a lot of heart-wrenching thought, discipline, experience, inspiration, imagination, frustration, and in my case prayer that goes into all this make-believe in order to accomplish the "reality" of a story that will invite the investment, indulgence, and produce the rings of some noble truth(s).
Father, again I thank you for every word, every explosion of inspiration, and every good moment in writing my stories. Apart from you, I can do nothing. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.