Seriously, though? Help!
So into my world, or Character L. Charater L has a problem. L wants a way out and by gosh L is going to freak everyone out. The question is…can you make up something that does not exist for your book? I mean if there was a person who could make this happen then it could exist? Technically this does exist just not in the form I want or the intensity, but can I make it be real in my book’s world? And I know I am being vague, but L needs some privacy right now.
Okay, so aside from all that where is the line drawn from fiction to factual. Obviously your book has to follow the rules of life unless it is a sci-fi book, but how far is too far when it is fiction? John Green wrote this well (in the Collectors Edition Acknowledgments of The Fault in Our Stars), “I am also indebted to The Biology of Cancer by Robert A. Weinberg, and to Josh Sundquist, Marshall Urist, and Jonneke Hollanders, who shared their time and expertise with me on medical matters, which I cheerfully ignored when I suited my whims.” and everything seemed copacetic to me. So where did he ignore the advice and make things up? I mean, yes, obviously with the Phalanxifor, but that was real for the book. It was a medicine for HG that exists in the world of the book, just like we have medicines in our world.
Can I ignore some basic rules and do what I want?
One of my friends who at one point in her teen years wanted to be a nurse said, “your book can be fiction, but it has to be factual.” So again back to the question above can I create a better version, a purer, a realer version of something that exists in our world?
There have been things I have chosen to ignore for my books and thought I would get into literary realisticality trouble (yes, I make up words to suit my whims), but there is a way for him to do what he has to do in the story and still function and not have trouble with it and I only learned that about two weeks ago, and hell I was going to ignore the real world and just let Devon be Devon.
And who is to say that what you invent, in your characters’ world, for your characters’ world can’t be real? (And I hate calling them characters because they are REAL to me.) Just because it does not exist in our world does not mean it cannot exist for them. Otherwise what is the point of fiction? Fiction is to take away and create a third-space world for us. You as the writers of fiction are tasked with the burden to create from nothing and create well. I am using this as an example I am not calling us God. God created the world and everything in it, and I don’t really care at the moment your personal belief, so just work with me here for a minute, ‘kay? God created from nothing, He had to have a lot of imagination, things that He brought into being never existed before. So why can’t we do the same?
OBVIOUSLY, a talking dog would be sci-fi-esque, for lack of a better example, but who is to say that in the future that isn’t reality? Who is to tell me that Devon cannot do that or that or this, because in reality that just doesn’t happen? Well Devon is Devon and he is who he is and why the hell can’t he be strong and whatever he needs to be for the story?
So, writers, do what you want. Create what you want. Write what you want. If you get feedback that "no this doesn’t feel right, this isn’t realistic" from one person and “I love this” from five others, do what you want. Keep it, trash it. Don’t of course do something ridiculous, but maybe also do. Whatever you do, whatever you write will always be criticized. Someone will claim to be able to write a better version of your story, a more realistic version (they obviously have no imagination). Someone will hate it. Someone will love it. That’s the thing about writing, about story, not every story is for everyone. Every time you put pen to paper you are at a risk. Every time I pick up a book it is a risk of whether or not I will like it or hate it, but no matter what I respect the craft. If I don’t like a book I don’t review it, if I love it I am outspoken on social media about it (Graves has been witness to this).
Write for yourself and for your characters, don’t write for the general public. Yes, of course go for publishing, but remember whom the book is for, you and your darlings. Once you write for someone else or the public you’ve lost the battle before it begins, you’re done. Click your pen closed, cap your pen, break your pencil point, close your computer, shut off the voice to text program, you are finished. Because if you write for someone else you lose sight of what is important. You write for you. You write for your darlings. That is it. It is that simple. That simple.
So what did we learn here? You are the writer—or your characters as my case goes—write what feels right, leave out what doesn’t and just go for it. Write those words, because no one can for you and no one can write like you can write and no one can tell the story the way you can. So tell the story in the words you chose, in the way you chose, and finish it. And do what you need to do after that: publish, share privately, burn the thing. Just do what feels right. And if it horrible, DON’T worry…someone will tell you.
Listening to: The War from The Fragile World (Avox)-David Hodges, John Campbell
Quote: “Fiction is the form of any work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not real, but rather, imaginary and theoretical—that is, invented by the author.” –Wikipedia
Peace, Love, & Inspiration
Keep writing & remember
twitter.com/write_to_live & twitter.com/IAmLifewriter