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Should fiction be written based on real-life tragic events?

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2011, 16:40:47 GMT
Rick Smith says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2012, 22:17:06 GMT
In answer to the original question - I don't see why not.

Posted on 6 Feb 2012, 09:51:19 GMT
Katy Kaul says:
If fiction wasn't written based on real life tragic events I doubt that there would be many fiction books being written at all!

Posted on 1 Mar 2012, 20:30:28 GMT
rays_girl says:
I like historical novels. There'd be no point in them if anything sad was not allowed to be included!

Posted on 4 Mar 2012, 12:44:40 GMT
I agree with the ladies on this one and The Sea with Diamonds sounds like my kind of story. I do have some reservations about those authors who set their story, for no apparent reason, against a backdrop of an historic tragedy in order to cash in on people's interest in that event. The sinking of Titanic is perhaps the main event to be mis-used in this way. When I wrote my own book: 'A Wistful Eye - The Tragedy of a Titanic Shipwright' I did worry that people would think it was just such an opportunist story. Reviews thus far have dispelled my qualms however. It is in fact the true story of my own great grandfather, a shipwright who was engaged in building Titanic when his wife was brutally murdered. Knowing for a fact that the Titanic shipwrights mourned the loss of the ship as they would a personal bereavement, forfeited a day's pay to turn out and pay their respects to the deceased passengers and also felt a certain shame about the sinking, I tried to imagine how my ancestor would have reacted both to this and the death of his beloved wife of 30 years. The two incidents are inextricably linked. As for the nine/eleven tragedy, there hasn't really been any other peacetime disaster quite so devastating in US history, so I personally would have no problem with writers using it as a credible backdrop to a good story. Denise [writing as DJ Kelly]

Posted on 10 Apr 2012, 15:20:44 BST
Yes. If one is writing about tragedy basing it around a true event makes it more poignant and dramatic. Few things are more tragic that thousands of people going to work one day and getting killed or injured or traumatised by planes flying into their workplace.

Posted on 10 Apr 2012, 19:20:42 BST
This isn't a new phenomenon; consider the book THE BRONZE HORSEMAN by Paullina Simons, about the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. Millions died. Or the Holocaust.

If we do not learn from the mistakes in history that are written down and memorialized, we will repeat them.

Posted on 30 May 2012, 16:34:05 BST
T.J.Byford says:
I personally believe it depends upon whether the real-life event only sets the context in which the fictional story is set. Thus fictional stories may be written and set with, say, WWII, as the background. Most post-war war films fit into this category. "The Eagle has Landed" is pure fiction, but a great adventure story. Horatio Hornblower and more up to date, Sharpe, could not otherwise be written and entertain people to this day. Did the Scarlet Pimpernel really exist? And does it matter? No, for they remain rollicking yarns nonetheless.

But what we should be aware of is if the real-world account of what is being written about is fictional, and not truthful. Perhaps the most heinous example I can give of this is the film "The Perfect Storm". We are told it is based on a real-life event, but it is only when one reaches the end of the film, and with the realisation that the boat and all crew are lost, that for the most part, the film makers could have had no idea at all as to what actually happened, and it was all made up from the moment the last radio contact was made.

Posted on 26 Jun 2012, 06:21:21 BST
Fiction should be written based on real-life tragic events, but Amazon discussions shouldn't be book plugs masquerading as serious questions.

Posted on 26 Aug 2012, 19:15:23 BST
Yes it should.

And not just the ones that are popularly expressed as fractions.
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