Those two words would be seen individually as almost mutually exclusive. Yet in Fiction there is almost always some element of Truth. Of Believability. In some cases – science-fiction / supernatural themes – a writer creates a whole world. Yet even within that the world needs to be believable.
As you move into contemporary fiction, rural literature, romance… the worlds are generally apart of our world. Writers may create the town but that town exists near somewhere real. The fake town may be based on a real town.
Things that exist in reality can be spotted a mile away.
And here is my dilemma. My work is set in real place, involves real issues in Gold Coast society, even commenting on the road works that took place between 2012 and 2013. As I started writing this four years ago, I have had to amend my timeline more than once, and I’m now dangerously close to the edge where some scenes are losing their factual correctness.
As a READER, if you are reading a book set in your area, how crucial is it that the timing is right?
For example, if the writer describes a past event happening in a space that was once a carpark but is now a shopping centre, does the real-time accuracy of this affect your reading? Would you be wondering if the writer got the years right?
As a writer, how do you tackle this?
I enjoy writing about places that are real with people that come from my mind. But am I treading dark water here?
Please comment your thoughts below, I’m keen for advice on this one!