Fiction and true events
Fiction and true events.
Someone asked me once — “How much of your fictitious novels actually contain real life circumstances?”
Of course, I can’t speak for other authors, but I would suggest a tremendous amount of fiction is based upon true events, circumstances and characters.
My last novel, “Ashes on the Lake” instituted a remote mountain setting similar to many I’ve trekked while back-packing isolated areas of the Pacific Northwest. The description of crystal clear Eagle Lake — the chilling hoots of the horned owls — the creation of primitive rafts — basking in the firelight toasting shooting stars — even the acquaintance of Davy, the mysterious keeper of the lake — all were based upon past personal experiences.
When one pauses to consider such things it’s almost eerie in and of itself. At the time those encounters were perceived as natural events. No thought was considered as to how they may affect future actions. But, now many of those occurrences have been unexpectedly passed on in writing allowing others to experience them through their mind’s eye.
So, even though “Ashes on the Lake” is a purely fictitious story, the settings and many of the events are a rehash of actual events. Further, some of the main characters actions, dialogue and physical appearances are attributed to friends and acquaintances as well.
Think on this for a moment. Who hasn’t met or been acquainted with a Sondra, the blonde, beautifully sexy attention whore and girl friend of the stereotyped somewhat chauvinistic Richard Fox? Tracy the fiancé’ of Corbin, Richard’s best friend is the chestier version of Sondra — loyal, beautiful in her own right, but often overlooked by others because of her higher IQ.
I’m sure you’ve known these characters at some point in your life. They’re not fictitious at all. Sondra, Richard, Tracy and Corbin may have unusual names, and slightly different appearances, but everyone of you know these characters.
So then, if the events of a story are based upon actual occurrences and the characters are uniquely familiar — where does fiction begin?
It begins in the imagination of the writer! Fiction is presented when the author takes familiar characters or events and weaves them into an unfamiliar story line.
Unique and well written stories suck the mind of the reader into an emotional involvement with believable settings and characters. While immersed in such story lines, the characters and events magically turn non-fiction keeping the reader on a plane of reality until the very end.
How much fiction is based upon true events? Ask your local author.
Thanks for visiting,