Monday, April 9, 2012

A Bad Day in Fictionville


Life can get interesting in Realville, but it's seldom book-worthy.  For book-worthiness, one must relocate to Fictionville.

Bad Day in Realville Bad Day in Fictionville
Steve slumbered 20 extra minutes before rising for work. Steve woke 20 minutes after he was supposed to be at work.
Steve showered and shaved quickly to make up for lost time. The hot water heater died during the night, he forgot to pick up deodorant yesterday, and he cut himself shaving.
Steve got a speeding ticket on the way into work. Steve's car was stolen while he slept overnight.
Steve received a reprimand for being late to work. Steve got fired for not showing up to work for the fifth time this month (and it's only the 10th).
Steve stopped by the courthouse on his way home to pay his fine. Steve called the police to report his car stolen. The police arrive six hours later to file the report.
Steve has an accident on the way home and has to rent a car from Budget Rentals. Steve tries to rent a car from Budget Rentals, but his credit card is maxed out and he's declined.
Steve tries to relax by watching his favorite prime time TV show. It's been preempted. Steve returns home to find his house burglarized and has to wait another six hours for the police to arrive.
Steve learns from life's experiences and sets his alarm 20 for minutes earlier. Steve notices that the burglars stole his alarm clock too.

Yes, Steve had a bad day in Realville. But things got really bad for Steve after he moved to Fictionville.  And a whole lot more interesting.

Writing real is essential. However, it's easy for writers to write too real when we write fiction. Too real can capture the mundane rather than the mystery and excitement.  No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse.

In Realville, Steve's friends would sympathize. But readers would rather hear about Steve's bad day after he moved to Fictionville.


So, have all your characters left the bland existence of Realville and headed for Fictionville?

21 comments:

  1. Hey, great blog!! Nice set up and pictures!! Keep up the good work!! You are invited to check out or follow my blog anytime!!! Have a great day!!

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    1. Backatcha! Hope you enjoyed your visit!

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  2. Great post. I often find myself leaning too heavily on the facts, then I have to remind myself "hey, it's fiction. I can write what I want."

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    1. Yes you can! And you have my permission (in case you needed it) LOL.

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  3. Great post! I think I fell into that trap when writing the first time. I didn't know what I was doing and included all the mundane in what was going on in people's lives. Ugh, thank goodness for beta readers! They were able to point out my over-enthusiasm to include all the little minutia of ordinary living. Best be sure, I'm now concentrating on the most important elements of daily living--like eating that bagel with cream cheese and soya milk! :)

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    1. It's a trap not easily seen ahead of time.

      Oh, and I'll take your bagel, but you can keep the rest. Bagels are like chocolate. They should be kept pure. ;-)

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  4. Good post. I just read a bestseller that everyone has been raving about, but I found that the author got "too real". And for me, it made some of the reading mundane, as you have said. It was still a good book, but I found myself skipping a lot of the details. :)

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    1. Details are such an odd thing. One can enrich and another can bog you down. I guess that's where skill and art collide?

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  5. Love the fictionville examples! So much more compelling.

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    1. Yes, it is. I think that's why I love fantasy so much. I get too much that's too real too often. I need the diversion.

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  6. This is something I'm trying to work on. Making everything more intense. Great post, I love the side by side comparasin.

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    1. Thank-you. Keep on working at it. Even the long-time pros do it at times. It's human nature, I think.

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    1. Thanks, Richard. Fictionville is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there! LOL

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  8. Huh... that would be an interesting writing exercise, writing a day in the life in "Fictionville." You've got me thinking ;)

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    1. Did I "muse you" Charlie? If so, I'm honored. :)

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  9. Oh my goodness-- SO TRUE! I love your chart. Fabulous way to show that we've really got to step it up!

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    1. Thanks, Peggy. The craftsmanship is exquisite, isn't it? Almost makes me look like I know what I'm talking about. LOL

      True though, stepping up the stakes, the action, the pace...that's what it's all about.

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  10. Excellent post Jeff. I thought you made your point in a very clever way. Yep, I'm moving to Fictionville. Thank you :-)

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    1. If you move there, Diane, please please please take out some kind of travel insurance if nothing else.

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