Is fiction really fictitious?

A pink moon is shining down on us. Yes, you got that right. Pink moon. But see, it’s fiction. Anything can happen in fiction, right? It doesn’t have to be a lived and breathed experience. Apparently not for some people who think it’s all about reality and real life experiences twisted into fiction to hide *insert gasp here* dark secrets and true identities. No, sorry to burst that bubble.

I released a poem called, tourist eyes on my Facebook account a while back with the clear heading -FICTION. And then flowed the sombre sympathies from friends. Family was too busy hiding their faces in embarrassment. I mean who announces the end of their marriage so blatantly on a social platform. Does she have any sense of decorum? I got some toned down public messages of sympathy and then an outpour of no holds barred queries in my inbox. I got tired of replying and just ignored the rest of my messages. Let them assume I’ve split up from my husband, whom, just to clarify I am very much still partnered up with.

I am writing a novel where a crime takes place and I’m now curious if people will automatically assume it’s happened to me. I am also curious as to what readers think of this notion. Do they think a story teller cannot cook up made up characters out of thin air by the power of their imagination and then weave a purely fictional tale? If I write a character similar to myself, is it automatically me? I admit that I’ve made this error myself. Before I started this long and tedious journey of writing for no apparent reason or reward; I asked an author if the protagonist was like him. Now, I understand how he must have done a roll of the eyes and emitted a long suffering sigh at my assumption.

To argue both sides of the coin, nothing can be purely fictional. We see things happen around us and it automatically translates to our written word. We see a shocking piece of crime flash on the news and it impacts us to the extent that it forms a subconscious layer in our soul. We might take those bitter or good memories, consciously or subconsciously, and draft it into a tale. But that is the reservoir of the writer. The treasure trove where those items are stored. The magic room where memories of everything we have ever seen or heard or lived are kept safe. We may use this storeroom to embellish our fictional piece. If we were to create a character for example, we might take the gravelly voice of a fruit vendor, the eyes of a ware wolf and the irritating habit of saying shushhhh from your mother’s bossy second cousin. You put all these together to make the character whole. The character is still not real but he isn’t all fake either.

It’s still the writer’s creation. That must be appreciated or at least understood. It is not about me, my husband, my friends and my neighbours. A piece of fiction is fictional, folks. Don’t over think it.

Image from google, not my credit.

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