From Fact to Fiction

It’s been four years since I last published a book. Back then, I was on deadline update a book AND write the sequel by a December 31st deadline. By the end of December, I’d burned out and swore in Scarlett O’Hara Style, “I’m never writing another book again!” At the time, I knew I was full of crap because I’m a writer so I write, whether I want to or not. But I wanted to make some big declaration to give solace to my overwrought mind.

I work as a writer all day so I didn’t think I’d miss it too much. But I wrote little pieces here and there. Getting my toes wet again. And then finally I dove back in with NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago with some fiction. Nanowrimo is definitely my kind of challenge – short intense bursts of activities with a clear deadline. The more I brainstormed ideas, the more they came.

I’d tried writing fiction back when I lived in Paris in my early 20s. If you’re a writer and you’re living in Paris, you better sit in a cafe and write something! Since I was young, on my own, recently out of the Marines and had graduated college, and trying to figure out my place in the world, my mind veered away from whatever story I was trying to write to instead write in journals or letters back home. There was so much to see and experience! I was living in Paris, the city I’d dreamed about since I was a little girl! And not only was I visiting, I was LIVING there; I made it on my own! I had to chronicle my adventures and journey of self-discovery right then in the present, not create new ones.

Now many years later, I’ve moved back to fiction. Moving to fiction again is quite a change; it’s completely freeing. You don’t have to rely on memory or when things happened; you use your imagination. Instead of chronicling the past, you’re inventing an alternate world in the past, present, or future. You can create any character you want, put them in any situation you desire, and have them react however you choose to. Master of your domain, alright! I can completely become immersed in my character’s lives, wondering what if… With my first fictional story being published in a couple of weeks, I’m finishing up the sequel and have started the third book in the series; so now my mind keeps wondering what will they do next…

So I suppose moving from fact to fiction might reflect moving from one part of life to another. I still feel the pull to write nonfiction, which I’m doing at the moment, but in a much smaller scale than an entire book. I could go on for paragraphs analyzing these ideas, but I’d rather hear what YOU think.

Cross-posted at

2 thoughts on “From Fact to Fiction”

  1. I would have liked to have tried writing in Paris (and liked the mental image I conjured of you sitting at a sidewalk cafe), but I was always in the company of kids or teens who needed shepherding so my experience was more about discreet shouting (if there is such a thing) than writing. When I was at home in Germany, though, I did sometimes wander around to cafes to sit and write. I try that here, but Starbucks doesn’t have the same ambience. Still, one makes do.

    1. Ooh, cafes in Germany. I like the sound of that! I agree, Valerie. Starbucks just doesn’t cut it.

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