Friday, June 25, 2010

How much fiction . . .

. . . do you like in your fiction?
Or perhaps I should phrase that differently. How much reality do you like in your fiction?

After The Cost of Love had been edited, proofed, and printed, but before it had actually hit shelves, I endured many a sleepless night. Why? Much of the plot centers around bio-terrorism. I did my research. I needed something that was frightening, and I needed to merge it with a disease that could be spread quickly and aggressively. I merged my military grade bio-weapon with H1N1. I finished copy edits in March of 2009. By June 2009, the World Health Organization had verified the "swine flu" spread, confirming it to be a global pandemic.

Hmm. Too much reality? Perhaps. If I'd had the chance to change it, would I? Maybe. But it was too late. The pages were already in the hands of the printer. Would it attract readers or push them away? Time will tell.

Then there are the drones. Darn those drones. I kind of liked them. I thought it was a fun aspect of the book. If you're going to have people dying horrible deaths, you need a little fun. A little zipping around in the night. So I went with drones, which do have a long history domestically. What? People don't know this? It's true. This week in the news, it's a big deal that drones are going to be used domestically to monitor our borders. ((sigh)) Seems my romantic FICTION keeps intersecting with the headlines.

I'm not sure about all this. Personally, I'm a bit of a news junkie, so that's where many of my ideas come from. What do you think though? How much fiction do you like in your romance? Or should I say--how much reality do you like in your fiction?



Anonymous said...

I love the ideas you've used in COST OF LOVE, Drue, but then again, I enjoy using and reading about real events in fiction. I just finished reading LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, which used as its axis the 1974 event of a man walking between the Twin Towers on a high wire. It gave the book a wonderful depth. Can't wait to read your book! It's on order at our library.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Rebbie. You know when I think about it, I actually PICKED H1N1 in 2007. When it really hit the news in mid 2009, I broke out in a cold sweat. I thought "no one is going to want to read about this as they keep their kids home from school!" Then I felt badly for worrying about such a trivial thing when so many children were sick. It was a surreal time for me. LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN sounds great as well. Generally, I do like the intersection of life and fiction.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Drue: Since I write historicals, there's a big dose of truth in my books. That's why I like historical fiction. Glenn Beck wrote a book that I haven't read, but he said it was supposed to be about what could happen. He had no idea it would happen when he wrote it, and it was a little spooky. So you and he must write alike. Which may mean you'll go to the top of amazon and NY Times!

Anonymous said...

Joyce, I think you're talking about The Overton Window - and yes, I mean to order it today. And I do think there's a huge similarity between historical fiction and contemporary fiction for that very reason. Of course, I like them both!

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Your novel sounds great! It obviously had real depth. I too prefer a dose of reality with my fiction. Best wishes for your success.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jacqueline. I don't know . . . too much depth can turn a reader off. After all, reading is also a form of escapism. I think it's a balance, and when I was writing - I was certainly aiming for a balance. We never know where things are going to land in the end though.

Terry Odell said...

I like reality in fiction. I don't like a lot of preaching, but I'd like to know that what I'm reading could actually happen. At least that's the way I write my books, although I prefer not to have to get into too much technological detail. First, because it changes so fast, and second, because I'm more interested in the character arcs.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point, Terry - there is a line between showing what IS happening in the real world and preaching about it. As far as the character arcs, it's why we read!

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