The other day, Barbara Samuel at Writer Unboxed wrote a very eloquent post about “The Intersection of Truth and Fiction.”
Every story a writer composes somehow emerges from the writer. But where to draw the line between truth and fiction might be hard to distinguish. I am not a character. The character is herself. Some of my experiences lend verisimilitude, perhaps, but mostly, I’m cobbling together bits of this and pieces of that, gathering anything and everything that might be helpful to create a sense of a whole world for a reader.
I find this especially relevant as I freak out calmly prepare my synopsis and finalize the manuscript of Twenty-Somewhere for submission to JJ and St. Martin’s Press.
Anyone who knows me knows that 20SW draws from my personal experiences, and that a few of the characters are inspired by people I know in real life (with their permission). But sometimes I get frustrated because people think 20SW is real, and it’s not. (If it were, I’d just blog about it!) I put a lot of thought and time into crafting these young women, their world, and their stories. And then I write thousands of words to support that. Hence: fiction.
And I write fiction because…
The most pleasurable part of writing for me is that weaving of truth and lies to create something that is more true than real life.
Now, I’m not saying 20SW is Serious Life Changing Literature, but I do think 20SW addresses real issues that twenty-somethings face, hopefully in a fun but still valuable way.
What’s real, and what’s not? Only the writer ever really knows for sure. And even then, I’m not sure we always know.