The Truth in Fiction

Ever notice how difficult it is to write? I’m talking about writing fiction that sounds true to life. It is the most gut-wrenching, hair pulling thing I find in the world of writing.

And, you’re wondering what am I talking about. Actually, I’m talking about creating a character and a life that appears to be real. Okay, I’m talking myself into a corner. I’ll use an example:

The bullets were whizzing by Ken’s head. He was as low to the ground as he could be, hugging it for dear life. Off to his left grenades were going off and seemed they would never stop. Then without warning, his nightmare materialized. A mortar shell landed close enough to his feet that Ken lost both legs up to his knees.

After being released from the hospital, Ken was released from the Army and applied for a job as a Physical Education teacher…

Honest fiction? I think not. Nowhere near being a believable story. But, that’s only one example.

Writing Honest Fiction is more than making a story believable, it’s agreeing with the character’s morals. And morals change from one character to the next. But, they have to ring true with the outcome of a decision.

Here’s another example;

If your character is part of a gang, chances are this individual is going to murder someone. It’s a part of gang living. Now, if that person goes on living the life of Rilley, that would constitute anything but Honest Fiction. Murder never goes on unpunished anywhere in the universe. If you describe this person as a jovial, easy-going, bright-faced person, again, not Honest Fiction.

Anything that would make your reader go; ‘Yeah, right…’ you know you missed the honesty of your writing.

If you are writing a character who you hate, you are doing a bad job at writing your character. You don’t have to agree with his/hers thoughts or decisions, just love the character for who they are.

If you are doing this part of your writing correctly, this is where you have to dig deep inside yourself. You have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. This  is where the expression ‘write what you know’ comes into play. It doesn’t mean write about the things you know about.

If you have a storyline you want to write about, and you don’t know about, say, quantum physics, research it and learn about it. Then write your fingers to the bone. Just be honest about it.

To write Honestly, it takes a lot of power and concentration. It has to come from every word we write and you can’t back down from it. Readers will know when you’re not being honest. Just like you can tell when someone is lying to you in any conversation. The words ring empty.

Now I have to include; I have learned so much from K.M. Weiland. She has taught me so much from her blogs and I couldn’t resist using her lessons on this topic. She helps me on so many levels.


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