Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When fiction isn't fiction

"If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages." -- Elaine Liner
 How much of your fiction includes "real" life?  Very little? Some? A lot?

Here's a scene from WIP that came from "real" life:

Joe told me that the paramedics brought a toddler into the ER who had been bludgeoned to death by her mother’s boyfriend. He had whipped her repeatedly with a video game controller and she had so many bruises on her tiny body that the doctors couldn’t find a patch of white skin anywhere. He beat her because she had a dirty diaper. She was two.

The neighbors heard the toddler screaming for her mother. She was in the next room stuffing her face with potato chips and watching the soaps. The screamin' got so bad that the neighbors called the cops. But it was too late. Katie was dead.


  1. That's terribly depressing, but can you imagine how moved you would feel in a novel to have that parent face justice? Sometimes things like that need to be written about and exploited in order to raise awareness. Dickens was a shining example in that arena.

  2. I hope they both fried. oops! Did I say that? ok. That was my immediate gut reaction to hearing a story like that. But I agree it IS satisfying to read about justice being served (one way or the other).

    Oh, and I often steal real life events and write about them :)