Monday, October 19, 2009

If one world is real, is another fake?

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

Tom Clancy

I blame my mother. Totally and completely.

I'm sure she's OK with it. At least I hope so.

What do I blame her for? For my absolute despise of the phrase "the real world." I didn't like it even before it was a lame television show on MTV. As Mom would say, "What have you been living in? A fake world?"

Maybe that's why I take things from the everyday world and add them to my fiction.

My series involves a the real world. Real places. Real problems. Real... whatever.

Admittedly, the crime rate in the Black Hills isn't very high, and I hope to write many books with the series, so that's obviously not real. But that's OK.

But do I get my ideas from the world I live in? Yes. And no.

In Ghost Mountain (the first book), I came up with the idea all on my own. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a murder at Devils Tower. Could it have happened? Sure. But in this case, I didn't use anything I heard of to make the story seem more realistic.

Let Sleeping Bears Lay (the working title for book two), however, was sparked by a real-world event that took place during the 2008 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I changed the actual location and some of the details. Not to protect the guilty or the innocent, but because I needed the crime to happen a little differently.

So, do I get ideas from the world I live in? Yep. Sometimes. And sometimes the ideas come from my own twisted imagination.

One final note, there are some things in this world that would never make it in fiction. You know I'm right. In the past year, I heard of a story that would never make it in fiction. It's a true story, but I may get a few of the details wrong because it's been awhile since I've looked into it. It goes something like this:

A couple got married. A few years later (five? maybe ten?) the man died in a freak accident. His organs were donated and another young man received his heart. Years later that man married the same woman the first guy had married! No joke. And, after the same number of years married to her, guess what happened? Yep. Another freak accident and the guy died!

If anyone used that in a story, who would believe it?

Now I'm curious. What real things have happened to you that would never make it in a fictional story? I want to hear them.


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