Does fiction need to be truth at all?

I’m all for suspension of disbelief for books and movies – Like can buy super hero’s powers or magic or other world stuff no problem, I’m even cool with the various forms of vampires from glittery ones to ones that can do daylight with the aid of magically rings to the more ‘normal’ ones that have to avoid daylight at all costs. Conversely, I tend to believe what I read in books pertaining to random background details. I’ve learned plenty about a ton of incidental trivia type things from books that I think that is one of the perks of reading. Story plus possibly useful info = double win. I don’t count on city descriptions or anything being Google map accurate, but, I do feel that a writer describing Arizona lets me feel a bit like I’m there. I feel like a story set in a beauty shop or a ranch should be accurate enough that if I was ever stuck in that position I would know where to start at least. It’s a fine line between things I trust about a book and things I know are fiction but I put faith in authors to be honest where reasonably possible.

today’s post on Stirrup Queen has a mini rant on something I completely agree with her on – the tragic misinformation about fertility and pregnancy etc in books/movies. I understand plot devices but what about the people who don’t know better and learn from this book? People like me that believe things they read when there is no reasonable reason why it should be fiction? After taking forever to get Niamh going, including many ‘what’s going on in there’ procedures, people getting pregnant super super easily is just a bit on the annoying side. Does it happen? Sure, plenty of people I know have pregnancies/babies (that they love dearly) that were not planned BUT I seriously doubt that number of “I only did it one and now I’m pregnant” is as high as tv/books would imply. I guess if authors just stayed on the better safe than sorry side of things that would be ok, but, the other side exists too where people (in books) basically just avoid one day on the calendar and are fine – that is more harmful then implying your fertile every day of your life! There is science behind this stuff, interesting science even, what is the harm in being right and informative in a book?

This is an odd topic for the day, but, other than saying basically what I said yesterday I’ve got nothing new….

So should I start distrusting the details in books? Is my alleged knowledge of cattle farms false? I guess if I’m reading fiction should I just assume its all fiction….

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7 responses to “Does fiction need to be truth at all?”

  1. lazyhippiemama says :

    My pet peeve is that, in fiction, labor and birth always happen in a matter of minutes and half the time it’s life threatening. I labored for WEEKS! Someone should write a book about the crazy woman going through that!

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  2. Linda M. says :

    I find that I can accept inaccuracy in fiction far better if they aren’t pretending to be real. I can deal with vampires, sparkly or not, far better than, say, a speeding subway train that can’t be stopped. (hint: they are electric. Cut the power to the line that feeds them and they will usually stop.)

    Having had trouble conceiving myself, I also always doubt one-shot pregnancies, although I can think of three people off the top of my head who did it – but all three were planned, and therefore they did it at what they knew was the appropriate time, thus increasing their chances dramatically.

    And I agree with the above poster – I always hate it when someone goes from casually enjoying their life to having one contraction and rushing to the hospital, screaming in agony. Sigh.

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    • kateluthner79 says :

      Oh and the ‘just born’ babies on TV are always like 6 months old. I try not to pick on the science of stuff but sometimes you can’t help it! I give shows like Big Bang and Suits extra bonus points because they are actually right with their ‘stuff’

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      • Linda M. says :

        Several interviews have pointed out that all of the science on Big Bang – the stuff on whiteboards in the background, etc. is really real. :-) I love that.

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      • kateluthner79 says :

        and Amy is actually a real Neuro scientist

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  3. Shannon says :

    I’m one of those anomalies. Walker was a one-shot deal conceived on day 100+ of my cycle. Yeah, that shouldn’t have happened!! And I had him really quickly. BUT…I am involved in infertility world enough as a surrogate to recognize how NOT normal that is! And what I know now makes it pretty clear that if I’d tried for a #2 of my own, there would have been a lot more challenges. I’m gonna call him fate and be very very grateful. I was lucky that surrobaby#1 took on the first round of IVF. The odds are that it won’t be so simple for #2!! I’ve had a whole lot of luck already in that department!!!

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    • Shannon says :

      ps. My one-shot was more luck than anything. After 100+ days, I didn’t know when things would start up again. My temp spiked the next day. Pure dumb luck.

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