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Old 03-09-2017, 05:47 PM   #1
jmpowell7
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Default You can't make this up.

Many of us get our writing ideas from true life incidents, but sometimes those reality pieces fit together too neatly or in too strange a way to make believable fiction.
For example: A man is found dead, thrown off a side of a road. The medical examiner opines he died a week or more before his body was spotted by a family cleaning out their barn. He was strangled and his carotid artery was punctured. A more unfortunate detail is he was found off the side of Carrion Lane.
So the question, being of no use to those of us who waste their time or who do not waste their time writing, is have you ever dealt with truth that was too strange to make into fiction?
Carrion: the decaying flesh of an animal.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

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So the question . . . is have you ever dealt with truth that was too strange to make into fiction?
Yes. Personal experience. Yes.

Last edited by TigerFang : 03-10-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

Yes. I have written scenes in old west screenplays describing actual events from history and had readers tell me to cut the scenes because they were unbelievable. "No one would ever do that."
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

When Lewis & Clark undertook their historic expedition across what is now the western United States, they had in their company a man named Toussaint Charbonneau. Charbonneau's wife, Sacagawea, and their young son accompanied the Corps of Discovery on the trip.

As a young girl, Sacagawea had been stolen from her Native American tribe by another warring tribe and enslaved by them. This was a common practice in those cultures. Eventually, Sacagawea was traded (sold) to Charbonneau who made her his wife and mother of their child.

No war party in the Plains Indian cultures ever took a woman and child with them, and this alone kept the Corps of Discovery from being attacked many times over on their journey, although at first, they were unaware of this.

At a critical point in their trip when the group had no horses — for they had either traded them for necessities, including food, or eaten them — the team came upon a plains tribe who owned many horses. Unfortunately, the Corps of Discovery had long since run out of the prized blue beads with which they once traded freely and had little or nothing with which to bargain except perhaps a coin struck with Thomas Jefferson's likeness, the man they told the Native Americans was “their new great father.”

The chief of this tribe was not much impressed by this now ragtag and not only horse-poor but horseless group, despite their marching parade and display of the unique air rifle — a rifle which made no sound or smoke — demonstrated by Lewis. The Corps of Discovery desperately needed horses or they would likely not survive the rest of the journey westward.

The chief was not inclined to trade for or even give the Corps of Discovery any horses because he saw nothing of value in the goods they offered. At this point, things looked grim for the Corps of Discovery.

Then, Charbonneau's wife Sacagawea somehow came to the attention of the chief of this tribe. Lo and behold, the chief recognized Sacagawea as his long lost sister stolen by a raiding war party so many years before.

If ever in history there was a true-to-life Hollywood moment, this one must take the cake.

Thanks to this turn of events, the Corps of Discovery received the horses they so desperately needed and were able to complete their trip to the west coast.

Later, at another critical point, a vote needed to be taken to decide the course of action the Corps of Discovery would take next.

It was the first time a woman (Sacagawea) and a black man (York) cast a vote under the auspices of the fledgling United States government.

It all happened because a woman traveling with the men was reunited with her brother who helped them get horses to complete their journey.

Last edited by TigerFang : 03-16-2017 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

i read in a nonfiction book one time...i believe it was CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC, by Tony Horwitz...that at Ft. Sumpter, SC, a person asked a guide something along the lines of, "why were so many Civil War battles fought at national parks?"
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

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If ever there was a true-to-life Hollywood moment in history, this one must take the cake.
!
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

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!
And yet, in Training Day, when the hood about to kill the cop finds out the cop had protected his sister from a possible rape, critics said that was too unrealistic for such a coincidence to happen.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

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And yet, in Training Day, when the hood about to kill the cop finds out the cop had protected his sister from a possible rape, critics said that was too unrealistic for such a coincidence to happen.
critic
/ˈkridik/
noun
1. a person jealous of those who are able to write scripts or screenplays.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: You can't make this up.

The problem is "true life incidents" aren't a story.

Just pulling something out of the air, assume you (and 200 other people) saw a truck go through a street light pole with no damage to the truck or the pole. Assume several people even recorded it happening, from different angles with their phone cameras. So it's "verified".

That would definitely be a bizarre true life incident.

But what's the story? I'm sure you could use it as a catalyst to jump off to all kinds of strange fictional stories -- but chances are once these stories were complete, the truck through the light pole thing would get cut out. After your imagination finishes its job, the truck and light pole would probably seem mundane.
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