Fact is my F-word, and I should have written about it last night, but after driving five hours in horrific rain, I was just too tired to think. So, during the wee hours of this morning, I examined F-words which led me to Fact in Fiction. We’ve all heard that Truth is Stranger than Fiction. There are Facts we could put in our fiction that editors would cut because they didn’t ring true, they’d be just too strange to be believable to a reader, or they might come across too coincidental.
Back in the “old” days when romances first came on the scene, there were many strange, fun things that appeared in books that I loved. I remember one book in particular that made me laugh until I cried. I can’t remember the title, The Grass is Always Greener I think, but the author was Billie Green and the romance line was Loveswept The heroine wanted nothing more than to win the most beautiful yard award and she worked hard getting her grass green and her flowers blooming. Her new neighbor didn’t give a hoot and his yard looked like a c-word. You know the one. She harassed him so much about his yard that the night before the judging he bought tons of green spray paint and sprayed his yard green. It looked hideous, but the way it played out was hilarious. It’s probably been 25 or 30 years (maybe longer) since I’ve read that book, but I can’t help but smile when I think of it. I don’t know that that could really happen. Would or could anyone in his right mind purchase that much spray paint, much less walk a yard and spray it green? I’ve used spray paint. The fingers get tired of pushing the nozzle and one can doesn’t go very far. But …
When I think of Fact in Fiction, I always revert back to this particular book for some reason. To my knowledge, no one in his right mind would attempt spraying his yard green. It doesn’t sound logical or true, yet, in the book it rang true because we saw how the heroine pushed the hero to his breaking point. He wanted to retaliate and did. If the author had shown the hero winning the most beautiful yard award with sprayed on green, everything she had written would have been for nothing. Her funny little romance would have been destroyed.
Do you try to make your fiction realistic? Do you believe there are satisfying ways to make unbelievable things true? Make them read like FACT. Do you remember a book or story where the author pushed the envelope? Share.
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