Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Fiction or Truth?

I spent a few years writing articles for our local newspaper. They even published a couple of short stories I had written.The experience taught me about observing carefully the things going on around me and more importantly it taught me to listen to what people say and then to listen to what they aren’t saying. It was a great job and it gave me my first opportunity to say, “I’m published.”

As a journalist in a small town, great care is taken not to offend the people you see at the post office everyday or you sit next to in church. It sterilizes the news. For me, the biggest problem in reporting the facts was just that. It had to be the facts. There were so many times I told the editor in jest, that I could make the story so much more exciting if she would just let me embellish it a little. Of course, that would take away my journalistic integrity. In fiction, I can take those stories, make my own characters, put in all the facts with an added twist, and disguise it as something that happened in my imagination.

That is why I love fiction. I can embellish and twist things to my heart’s content and the story becomes that much more interesting for me. It also gives me the freedom to take the things I observe and hear, and present them in a form that people can relate to. And in the end, fiction becomes the purest kind of truth.

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