Fiction Writers Can Eff Around with Almost Anything If It’s True
I’ve neglected my blog readers as I’ve spent a ton of time this month creating strong web visibility for two new clients. I apologize, but the new SEO fascinates me and I’m immersed. Dragged myself out of it last evening and watched two interesting movies on the same topic to see how two sets of writers treated a relatively true story. I didn’t learn much new but reaffirmed to myself that fiction writers are free to reweave almost anything—facts, characters, setting, events, history, as long as they do it with a sense of justice and truth to worlds they create.
The moral of my post is that an author or a ghostwriter has a lot of leeway in how they treat facts, history, or a news report. Witness Jodi Picoult, a wildly popular mainstream author who writes a book or more a year “based” on hot topics like Columbine, or Asperger’s syndrome.
Ms. Picoult, a capable writer, plays fast and loose with facts, but because her novels are just that, novels, they often make compelling reading. The caution is that basing writing too tightly on real events sets the writer up for pulling readers out of the story when something rings false. Picoult has been know to put readers in exactly that position, but hey, her books sell, and that’s my point. Go ahead and re-imagine reality.
I wrote the comparison post for my Google+ profile —hop over and read it. You’ll see how I took in both movies. Then watch the movies and see how you experience two different writer-treatments. Do let me know!