Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lies, And Bigger Lies

Harold Underdown shared this on his blog, The Purple Crayon (timely!). I thought I'd share it.
Fiction is what we make up, although it might have a basis in fact. As renowned writer Jane Yolen—author of novels, picture books, poetry, and much else—puts it, "Memory is just one more story. And sometimes not a very good one at that. It needs that sandpaper touchup, a bit of paint, a little lie here, and a bigger lie there—and so fiction is born." Although nonfiction can never be based on an entirely invented incident, fiction can find a basis in fact. Fiction is not truth, but it can hold truth within it, such as the truth of personal experience or universal themes. As you delve deeper into these two wide categories, you'll find the boundaries between them are very blurry.
Jane's quote describes the beginnings of my novel perfectly. It's origins were based on memory, nice memories, but {yawn} not interesting to anyone but me. I've added some window dressing (some "paint") and voila -- a sweet story is born.

Given my projects of late, both fiction and non-fiction, I liked this entry. Thanks, Harold!


pauling said...

I absolutely love stories that have some basis in truth. I love reading them. And I love writing them.

Kris said...

Me too! You can really connect with them. I always like a story that's really "out" there (like wild science fiction for example), but still so grounded in "reality" that you feel like you could be there.