I’ve been writing all my life. I’ve written mostly fiction, although there have been a few non-fictions along the way. I have no problem inventing people, places, and situations in the fictional world. Even fiction in a non-fiction real world don’t hold me back.
Except this stupid novel I’m still trying to get off the ground.
I have actually started writing, having done a lot of basic research, and using everything from Google Maps to traveler’s websites to be as accurate as possible.
The story is fiction. About a non-fiction person. Me. Going on a vacation. Fiction. To a real place — Paris. Non-fiction. Visiting romantic restaurants and museums that really exist. Non-fiction. Running into manifestations of people who have passed on. Fiction.
In the past I have written about not being able to kill off people in my novels. I dunno — it’s just not me. Fine. Now I have to write a fiction book about things that never really happened as though they really did happen. But I want them to sound real.
Somewhere I’ve gotten lost between fiction and non-fiction.
I have no problem making things up if my work is considered fiction. The sky’s the limit. Right?
But when I really want to be as truthful as can be, I feel like I’m fibbing if I don’t exactly explain what this museum looks like or that restaurant feels like.
Why can’t I just pretend and be done with it?
Does it really matter in the story if Rue Saint-Guillaume actually intersects with Rue Perronet? I mean, I have one story about a woman being transported from Earth to a different part of the galaxy, for Pete’s Sake! Why does it matter if my character goes to a real live close restaurant or happens to walk a block or two to a place that, on a map, is three miles away?
I think I’ve got to get back to the basics of fiction vs non-fiction. That one is one and the other is another and you are either/or. That unless it’s 100% true it’s fiction. And no one cares.
As long as it’s readable and enjoyable, no one is going to care. After all, that’s how ~I~ read books. How do I know if the Barrymore Theater on Broadway is on 47th Street or 45th Street? Do I care, when the heroine is kidnapped by a Phantom of the Opera wannabe?
I know I overthink everything. I think many of you do, too. Not on purpose — it’s just that you want whatever you’re working on to be as perfect and “right” as it can be. Are you cheating on your stitching? Are you calling your work one thing when it technically should be something else?
Let it go. I have to just stop thinking and start writing. And you have to do the same thing. Stop overthinking everything. As long as you finish what you started, no one will know — or care.
And even if YOU do care, don’t. Don’t they say the best non-fiction is usually fiction anyhow?