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Website and Editorial: John Sussams            

Literary Lunches Alexander Tulloch 

All other matters John Sussams

Creative Writing. The term is generally taken to apply to the subject matter of a piece of writing. Is it fact or fiction? The latter would be ‘creative’ in one sense of the word. The former might be, say, history or biography – the author’s take on virtually anything … but based on facts. Creativity may also relate to the manner in which a story is told, i.e. the author’s use of language. In any case the underlying story may be well-known and not the author’s original work but simply a framework (whether true, historical, biblical, mythical, legendary, SF or some other fantasy) which the author uses for his own purposes – to explore various characters – how they think and react in different circumstances … and then what happens. The creativity or originality of Shakespeare seldom lies in the stories (or histories) on which his plays are based. And many great novels are a mixture of fact and fiction (the setting could be 21st Century London as it is, 18th Century Paris as it was …or the Planet Zarg as it might be). Likewise, many works of non-fiction contain elements of fiction including digressions and speculations which are anything but factual. The interest in fiction lies primarily in the characters which the author has created (or re-created) and how they get into and out of the holes that they dig for themselves. The setting can be anytime, anyplace, realistic, or wholly imaginary – the trick is to make the reader believe in it, or, rather, temporarily suspend his or her disbelief.