Someone I know, upon hearing I write fiction, said, "Oh, I don't read fiction. Only non-fiction. I won't read anything that's not real."
It stung a little.
And I shrunk back, shortcoming on the floor at my feet.
But I've thought about her comment a lot, and, for me, turns out her assessment doesn't hold much worth.
For me, fiction is the truth, embellished.
Don't writers of fiction (save maybe sci-fi or fantasy) start with a nugget, a shining, promising hunk of truth? A personal experience? A moment of life? Don't they build upon that using their own histories? Using factual knowledge, true emotion? Fiction comes from scenario, shaped by life circumstances and potential.
That's real in my book. pun intended
Take my post from Monday. I made you wonder, is it truth or fiction? The answer? I took a grain of truth and polished it into something representative of circumstance.
Did I sit in a similar place recently? Yes. Did I worry over the news? Yes.* And, as many of you commented, you've been there, too. What had been real to you in the past became real again as you read my words. Relatability is huge in fiction.
No, I didn't think about the chemistry of the chair beneath me, or pretend to float off on air. But couldn't that have been true?
Fiction isn't real?
To my mind, there's really no question.
*I myself am healthy and fine. :)
**The shortlist of finalists in the 2010 Author Blog Awards is up at Completely Novel. Though I'm not on it, you have my sincere thanks for your support and nominations.