Fiction Vs Reality

June 30, 2010 at 5:30 am (Replay) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’m on holidays at the moment but I’m reposting some of the more popular posts from my old blog, Darkened Jade. If you leave a comment I’ll be sure to catch up with you when I get back.

Of the two, I much prefer fiction. Mostly because in fiction you can be reasonably assured of getting an ending (whether it is happy or not depends on the genre and author really), and you can be reasonably assured of a basic underlying logic to the entire thing.

Reality, unfortunately is not like that.

Recently I was very harsh in my criticism of comedies where events just seem to randomly pile, one after the other, onto the heap in any old fashion. This doesn’t suit my view on how a story ought to be told. However, it does kind of follow the natural order of events in the real world.

Maybe we could say there is some underlying logic to most of the things that happen. As in, if you speed, you will get a ticket, etc. However, sometimes things just happen. They are random and unpredictable (though random kind of has to be unpredictable) and they don’t really connect logically to any decision or process that was set upon by anyone.

In fiction, if you wander out into the forest, you are going to get lost. You are then going to be accosted by a little old lady, a wolf, or a band of cannibals, and several of your friends are probably going to die horribly. Unless you are the unfortunate one selected to be the friend, in which case, you are going to have a really interesting death sequence and set your friend upon a course of vengeance or flight. There are only a limited number of possibilities in the average fiction.

In reality, nothing may happen. You wander into the forest, you wander out. You might break your leg, or fall down something steep. You might get chased by a pack of wild dogs and end up in a tree. You might simply take some interesting photos. Possibly you could disappear for a ten year period then mysteriously turn up on the other side of the world -but this seems less likely.

Reality – unpredictable – illogical.

Stick with fiction.

And here’s the link if you haven’t yet checked out the blurb or excerpt for Death’s Daughter.

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Rules for Writing Fiction

May 13, 2010 at 7:25 am (Planning, Structure, Thoughts on Writing) (, , , , , , )

I visited a blog called the Life and Laughs of me the other day and came across a post entitled, Rules for Writing Fiction.  It is well worth a read if for nothing else than to get you thinking about whether you have any rules you follow consistently when writing fiction.

Personally, I disagreed with rule 8 on this list.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Personally I like being kept in suspense as a reader, as long as the revelation is worth the wait.

That said, number 6 – be a sadist – is an excellent rule.  Just because you feel connected to your protagonist and have spent so much time on them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t heap ruin and pain upon them. It makes for a far more interesting story.

So what are your rules for writing fiction?

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