Fiction is lying

I'm sure I'm not the first one to say this, and I don't have time to look it up right now, but sometimes writing fiction feels like lying. For instance, I started on this month's 50k-word project, and I wanted to start with a "what if" based on stuff I'd experienced, but realized if I continue along that path, then it wouldn't be fiction, so I started "lying." I know there are authors out there who've gotten big-time recognition for fiction that was just thinly veiled non-fiction, probably because they wanted to communicate a theme that was based on their seemingly interesting reality. Or it could be that they were too lazy to create fiction with the things they'd learned from their bizarre experiences. There's one local author who's of the more intellectual group, and when I read his stuff, I thought that there was nothing fictional about it--it was just a bunch of essays, posing as short stories and eventually as a loosely-constructed novel. But an agent saw his work in a literary fiction publication and was impressed, and they've milked the guy's background enough to make him into a name on the lit fic scene. It's one of those things that falls under the L.I.F. category (Life Isn't Fair).

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