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Wednesday, February 6, 2013


NY Times -1964 political ad
When I was a girl I had a favorite (78 rpm) record that told the story of "The One String Fiddle." The boy in the story wanted to win a contest with an original fiddle song he was composing. It had to be "all, or almost all, out'n [his] own head." He started with "Turkey in the Straw" but as he walked along listening to birds and streams and winds and other musical sounds around him, they all blended into his own creation--which won the contest, of course.

"all, or almost all, out'n my own head"
This defines, at least for me, what fiction is.
My novel TOO MUCH LEFT UNSAID is such a creation:

I started with some characters, based very loosely on people I know, but I invented wholesale the events of their lives. I read history books and newspapers and articles about world events and tied them in with the daily lives I was making up for my people. Some of the historical events I remember clearly, and I recall the feelings of celebration when good triumphed. I also recall my mourning at losses or defeats.
There is a real, historical setting that is the stage where my invented characters 'live' their lives . I imagine Mattie and Ron, Josh and Kathy, and the other people who stepped out of my head onto the page doing and feeling what I said they did and felt.

It's fiction, after all, but I hope when you read it you'll relate to their lives.

How would you define fiction? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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