When does fact turn into fiction? When an author writes a novel, of course.
One of the things that surprised me when I was looking for edits on the novel I wrote, was the number of comments about how real things needed to be. Okay, ‘things’ is a pretty generic term, so what do I mean. When describing a view from a recognizable restaurant, I had my proof readers putting themselves in that restaurant, looking out the windows and envisioning what was really there as opposed to what I described. They did this on their own. And even though they were reading a work of fiction, they still expected to be surrounded by reality and that reality needed to be accurate. If your novel includes scene descriptions in a certain area, let’s pick Alaska as an example, your scene has to be based in reality. You can’t put a maple tree in someone’s backyard or a blue jay in a birch tree when writing about Alaska. Neither one of those would occur, for real.
The amount of realism in a work of fiction doesn’t stop at contemporary or historical romances, either. Even science fiction and fantasy have certain realities that they must take into consideration. While listening to other people talk about their writing challenges you learn that a vampire will always need blood, because that is part of what defines a vampire. A gnome will not have fairy-like characteristics. That just wouldn’t be very gnom-a-nomic. And I’ve never seen a tree grow from the sky down.
This is one of those learning experiences that being a part of a writer’s group helped me understand, that I’m grateful for, and that I’d like to share with you. So, keep the facts in fiction or your readers may not be able to see the real deal.