Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Is this Fact in Fiction, ma Lord?
I’ve been tinkering with a part-written short story I wrote four years ago, around the time I was in a car crash.
The core of the piece is taken from the horrid experience – mainly how I felt at the time – and particularly the feeling of coming out of unconsciousness to the sound of fire engine and ambulance sirens. Yes, I’ve changed the names and the actual circumstances to a large extent, but it is based on fact. And I've realised this isn’t the first time I’ve used a personal experience as a basis for one of my short stories.
This made me wonder how much of ourselves we reveal when we write.
My novel is, in my opinion, a complete work of fiction from top to tail - well so I thought. My sister thinks otherwise. She noticed I based the protagonist’s childhood home on where we lived as children. It even has a lamppost outside, a yellow back gate and a picture of galloping horses on the wall. Bet you can’t wait to read it. ;-)
So did I deliberately base it on my childhood home? I’m not sure – it all just appeared on the page, flowing from my subconscious. But it seems, although the plot is complete fiction *I’m pretty sure it is*, I’ve drawn on my own memories to set the scene.
The only thing I never seem to do when I write, however, is base characters on REAL people. It’s really odd – as I know some people do – but every single one of my characters is a total work of fiction.
Do you use factual events or people you know in your fiction? Go on, tell me - I promise not to tell anyone. :-)