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Truth vs. Fiction

It’s something I deal with in the “introduction” to Long-Distance Dedications:  How much of what I write is me — my life — and how much of it is “fiction”?

I usually describe it as 90% fact and 90% fiction.  By this I mean, a lot of the things I write about happened — more or less — but the dialogue is different, the events are rearranged, and things are mashed together to achieve some kind of effect (whether it’s dramatic effect, to draw some kind of comparison, or to create some kind of metaphor).

A good example of this is in the story, “Penned”.  There are three events in “Penned” that form the core of the story:  the blind date and Dave’s meeting the homeless person, and buying the homeless person a meal.  In “real life”, these things didn’t occur together.  In my opinion, though, any of those alone wouldn’t have made much of a story.  It’s the contrast between Dave’s date and the homeless person, and her reaction to the man, that makes the story interesting (to the extent that it is; your opinion may differ).

I also get asked sometimes if I’ve ever gotten hit by a car.  Well, I have, and it happened _something_ like it happened in “Hackettstown”, but not exactly.  The “real life” event was a good deal less chaotic, and, frankly, a little boring if you were going to just read the blow-by-blow off of an incident report or something.

Anyway, to sum up:  My life is less interesting than Dave’s, which is why I write about his, and not mine. 😉

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