Stranger than Fiction

23 Apr


Writing fiction based on true events? I spent most of late last night and today researching this issue and to my absolute relief I found this very interesting post entitled “Could I be Liable for Libel in Fiction?”on the blog Rights of Writers.

I was fraught with worry in relation to aspects of novel writing that I didn’t really understand, considering this is my first venture into writing – that of libel, defamation or other scary legal words I had stumbled across in relation to writing about real persons or events.  Despite my fiction novel being based on true events and real people, it contains no falsities, malice or ill-will towards any of the main characters (well, apart from myself perhaps!). For the most part, it is  a thoughtful psychological analysis of how certain events, people and instances can effect the human psyche from childhood through into adulthood and up until self-discovery.

In truth, the human mind is the antagonist of the novel and it is the only ‘character’ that receives heavy handed treatment by me. And so, I am going to stop worrying, continue on and focus on getting my re-editing done over the next few months instead of worrying about things that are not relevant right now, and may not ever be.

Truth can sometimes be stranger and that is why it is so important for creative writers to embrace it, don’t you think?


2 Responses to “Stranger than Fiction”

  1. Jilanne Hoffmann April 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I’m glad that your research has given you some relief. But beware of falling into the “it’s true, so my readers will believe it” trap. This is a common pitfall for new writers, and it’s very common to hear the refrain “but it’s true, it did happen that way” coming from the rooms of writing workshops while receiving a critique. You must make it believable within the context of the story, and if that means contriving situations or dialogue, then that is the path you should follow. I’m not saying that your story won’t be believable if you don’t do this; I’m just suggesting that you ask an unbiased reader to peruse the story with an eye toward this issue. Good luck!

    • What's it All About and Other Stories April 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      That is a very good tip Jilanne, many thanks for highlighting that – if the story can be improved following a professional critique I will take on board any suggestions for the sake of improving the story for readers. As long as I can still achieve a good balance between the integrity of my story and a good read for readers, I will be happy. In effect, it’s the essence of the story that matters and that it what I will strive to tell 🙂

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