10 March 2015

truth in fiction

Definitions of fiction abound. One could say fiction is "literature created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation." Or, "In broader, everyday usage, fiction refers to any appearance, impression, or understanding that is imaginary or otherwise not strictly true." Thus, it may be odd to consider truth in fiction. But I've been pondering what makes fiction great and I'm deciding it's truth. Perhaps this shouldn't be a big revelation considering our true literature blog entry from last year.

I'm taking a class right now and, among other things, we're supposed to read some novels and basically judge them. All the novels are well-written. All of them are entertaining. But some of them are not great and I think it's because they didn't appear to contain any truth or authenticity. After reading I thought: this plot could never happen, or these characters are too over-the-top to be real.

This idea is relevant for short fiction. A short story should embody some truth. I admit this can be challenging with speculative fiction when you aren't necessarily writing about this Earth or about human beings. But it's worth trying. Good luck!

In other news the Electric Spec Editors are doing an 'Ask-Me-Anything' over at reddit.com this Thursday evening March 12. Come on over and ask us anything! For example, you could ask Editor Betsy how hanging out at a bar, drinking beer, led to her first publication in hardcover. You could ask Editor Dave how he's making the world safer for love and marriage. Considering my recent attempt to write a horror romance, you could ask me: "How do ghosts have sex?" But please don't. :)
See you over there!

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