Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fiction: Too real?

At times, it feels like fiction crosses over to reality: When your characters become so alive that when a major event happens, and you think about them, and how they’re doing.

That statement sounds much more convoluted than how I’m feeling. The bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England was and is devastating. What added to the strange for me though was thinking how Sebastian, my British rock star from The Big One, would feel about it.

It’s one thing to be deep in the characters’ lives during the writing of a book, but it’s not very often that I revisit the storylines and think about them.

See, without giving away way too much, Sebastian has ties to a similar event. When I read on CNN that Manchester was “the deadliest terror attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings,” I knew I was feeling this way for a reason.

As writers, we invest ourselves in our characters. As readers, those same characters come to life via the page. For The Big One, I did a lot of research on the 2005 London bombings, so I became more familiar with the details than the average person. I started writing this post the day after the bombing in Manchester, and then held onto it – too close, and I didn’t want to feel like I was piggy-backing on the tragedy at all. Sometimes, though, if I don't write it, I can't get it out of my head.

Then came this past weekend’s attack on the London Bridge and nearby areas, and the sadness persisted. Although I see a lot of people commenting on how they don’t want to focus on these events, and how depressing it is, it’s also very difficult to ignore the world’s events.

The BBC News ran an article on three French victims in the London Bridge attack., and the victim from Spain who attempted to fight the attackers with his skateboard. Such devastatingly brave and handsome men, who are now gone after these senseless acts of violence. Definitely worthy of the label, hero.

Perhaps, in this instance, life will inspire fiction. Xavier sounds like a fine name.

Tell me: Has this ever happened to you? Think of a character long after you’ve finished their story? Or perhaps connected with one during reading?   

Louisa Bacio

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