Creating Reality from Fiction

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

Hi, my name is Ebonye and this is my first post for August Rose Press. I hope that we can learn from each other (as other bloggers have stated) in the coming months.

The new year is off to an exciting start. My book will be released later this month and I’ve reflected on its contents as well as the process of writing this novel. I know of so many people in hot pursuit of the elusive concept of ‘the great American novel.’ I did not set out to write ‘the great American novel’. I simply set out to tell a story. The story I wrote is fictional, but based in reality. A reality that captured the attention of the world back in 2001 and has remained on the minds of many ever since. I challenged myself to think beyond what I could see in front of me, and 10 years later, Somewhat Close To Normal is about to arrive.

On a recent cross-country flight, I picked up the Delta in-flight magazine in front of me and read about Ben Stiller’s new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. From what I could tell, Stiller seemed truly captivated by the sometimes blurred line between reality and fiction. One quote in particular struck me:

“Good acting or good storytelling is finding the reality in something that’s been totally created.” – Ben Stiller

It struck me so deeply, because this is exactly what I had set out to do when I wrote my first novel. Finding that reality is so difficult and it is an involved process. You have to search inside yourself to figure out if you really believe your own story. I’ve sure you’ve heard the phrase that reality is stranger than fiction. I’m sure you’ve also heard the phrase that the difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. The most ridiculous stories can appear on the news and they are so hard to believe sometimes. But that cannot exist in a novel. People just wouldn’t accept it.

When writing fiction, it must have a certain element of truth. Universal truths are great for that, though what a ‘universal truth’ means is up for debate. The best truths are ones that resonate with everyone, no matter what their journey through life has been. Everyone at some people or another has loved, has lost, has dreamed, has succeeded and has failed. It may have been in small instances or in great ventures. But they are still themes that apply to everyone in some respect.

What realities do you often find in fiction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *