In an age where up is down, truth is fake, and fiction is… fact … it feels more than a little strange to be purposively writing… fiction!
This is particularly awkward when the subject is loosely based on… fact. Based on real people. On real events. People placed in fictional situations, in some cases given fictional behaviours and exaggerated characteristics, with words quite literally being put into mouths that in actuality never uttered them.
Ten years ago, as a writer I wouldn’t have given this a second thought. That was before Trump. Before Putin.
My answer to this dilemma — if indeed that’s what it is — at least with the novel (Spike) I’m currently working on, is to inject the fantastical occasionally, in part as a reminder to the reader that what they are consuming is an expression of my imagination, not an attempt to fill them in on the way things really are — or in this case, were, in the late ’60s/early ’70s.
Quentin Tarantino does an admirable job of this in films such as Inglorious Bastards and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. If you’ve seen them, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, check them out, then we can talk.
Which brings me, finally, to who else but Orwell? What would he be saying right about now if he were alive?
How about… told you so