Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. Mark Twain

How true do we think it is when we watch a movie based on a true story? Do we think embellishments weren’t made to make the story a little better? The dialogue is made up, how could it be anything else? I watched Frida on the weekend based on the life of Frida Kahlo a Mexican Painter. I liked the movie, it was recommended to me by a friend, but would Frida like the movie? Would she feel she was portrayed how she was, how she saw herself, or how most people who knew her thought she was?

I ask this because Michael Oher the football player The Blind Side movie is written about did not like the movie, and did not like how he was portrayed. Did the author Michel Lewis take artistic license, or is it impossible to write a story about a living person and get everything right?

There is fact in every fiction and truth in every lie. Krisi Keley

I remember bringing home a book when I was a teenager, I can’t remember the name of the book or the author but it was written about the author’s life. If I remember correctly some people didn’t agree with her portrayal of her life. Dad said to me, “It’s how she saw it.” We can’t argue with someone about how they see things, but we know we don’t necessarily see things the same way. Every person involved would have their point of view, and where do embellishments and outright lies begin?

One of the reasons I love writing fiction is in fiction we can tell the truth, and perhaps tell deeper truths than if we are constrained by facts and feelings of real characters and actual circumstances. One of the things we learn when writing fiction is fiction has to make sense, but we all know real life does not. The character has to be motivated to do something, and the motivation drives the story. The reader needs to know the character’s motivation whereas in real life we often don’t know what motivates someone.

As someone who has kept a journal since I was fifteen, I know we don’t always see ourselves or circumstances looking back like we see them now. We think we’ve always been who we are now, and seen things how we see them, but we’ve changed along the way. We might not like to be reminded of the struggles once we’ve overcome them. We might have looked at things in a way that would embarrass us now. How many parents would like their kids to know about every stupid thing they ever said, did, or talked someone else into doing?

The reason that truth is stranger than fiction is that fiction has to have a rational thread running through it in order to be believable, whereas reality may be totally irrational Sydney J. Harris

Fiction is the lie that helps us understand the truth. Tim O’Brien

Beyond the fiction of reality, there is the reality of the fiction. Slavoj Zizek

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