March 5th, 2014

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Writing Excuses 9.9: What to Do When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Writing Excuses 9.9: What to Do When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/03/02/writing-excuses-9-9-what-to-do-when-truth-is-stranger-than-fiction/

Key points: Sometimes real names, events, and facts seem contrived if you use them in fiction. Sometimes you don't use it, sometimes you use it and hang a flag on it. Tie it into the plot or character, provide some relationship with other elements of the story. Watch out for researched theories or events that are just too hard for the reader to believe -- you may end up spending too much effort unteaching the reader to make it worth the effort. Beware breaking the fourth wall, jumping outside the mental frame of the story. Look at your cool point, and decide if it is really important to the plot or story. If not, you may have to go with what people expect. Watch for terms or phrases that throw readers. Check with readers to see if things are kicking them out. Decide how you want to handle issues where what readers expect is not necessarily what you want to give them. Use your characters as focusing lenses to pick out aspects of society and culture.
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[Brandon] And on that note, Dan, why don't you give us a writing prompt?
[Dan] Oh, well, I think for your writing prompt, you should have your character be running through a double extrusion funnel and oh, see what's at the end.
[Laughter]
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
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