Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fact, Fiction and Faking It.

Zaynah let me out of my cave for a few quick minutes the other day and rather than enjoy the sunshine, I went on Facebook Groups. I joined a discussion on whether or not fiction has any value. For me, the answer was clear cut, but it did get me thinking.

How do readers react when it is obvious a writer is faking the facts? I'm talking about the facts that are obvious. An example would be, a character can see the Statue of Liberty from the window of their Yonkers apartment. Another would be a story I read for a review a while ago that was a time travel. I'm not a great authority on Egypt but I do understand that Egyptians are some of the most welcoming people in the Middle East. This writer took literary license to make them sound like Western fearing/hating radicals who wouldn't go near a western woman with a forty-foot cattle prod.

Was I wrong to want to (The review site wouldn't publish my review because the publisher was one of their biggest contributors) ring this author's neck for misrepresenting the culture when I clearly knew she was stereotyping it, and that stereotype didn't fit the actual facts?

Can't wait to read your responses.

Until Tuesday, cheers and happy writing,


This is cross-posted on the Eirelander Facebook Group page.


Sandy said...


I agree that you must be factual. In this day and age we should never malign another's culture? Besides you can't group everyone together in one country because like our country everyone thinks differently on every single thing.

Egypt's citizens, I'm sure are no different.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Even though I have encouraged the use of stereotypes as a starting point for character building, it needs to be pointed out that most often than not, stereotypes are misrepresentations of reality. And as such, it cannot be applied literally to anything or anyone, and certainly not to a culture/country/ethnicity as a whole.

No, you were not wrong, especially because in the case mentioned here, this was an incite to hate and a misrepresentation of a people, and this is a terrible thing to do in the context of the world today.

Hats off for sticking to your guns. Wish most would have the guts to stand up to what they believe as well.


Diana Castilleja said...

I completely agree. Facts are facts because they are well known, or easily discerned. (You can see the statue from Yonkers? LOL Kewl!)

See, that's my ignorance on the layout of New York. However, a blatant misrepresentation should have been caught by an editor. (One of my DH's co-workers moved here from Philadelphia, thought we all owned horses still and wore cowboy hats. Guess he never watched Dallas.)

Fiction is fiction, but facts, can't be. (That is not tossing the gauntlet out, k? LOL)