Saturday, 4 February 2012

Truth and fantasy

Does an authentic experience make your writing more valid?  Does it actually make it more believable to the reader?  I sometimes ask myself this question.  When I was younger, I assumed that if you are writing about an incident that really happened it made the writing better, but looking back I can see this is a fallacy.  

When I review my work,  sometimes when I have been so keen to get it down on paper and share a real experience the quality of the writing isn’t always as good.  And at times, the story doesn’t work even though I want it to or feel it should.   I think if I was writing Kissing Velvet again it might be different.  But when it was written, it reflected where I was in my life at that time and I was passionate to include certain events and sensations and emotions.  There was an urgency to it.   

In the past,  I once included an actual experience in my writing where the publisher dismissed what I wrote as fantasy, saying that couldn’t possibly have happened.  It annoyed me and the reason I fought to keep it in was because it did happen.  In the end, though, I took the incident out and on reflection it improved the writing.  But it was hard to let it go, because it was personal.  I got quite defensive.

I’m hoping I now have the maturity to accept that writing about the truth is a completely separate issue from the quality of the writing.  

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