Artistic License

The on-going debate with any author is usually how much can they twist reality to fit the fictional world of the novel.  I was watching Harry’s Law last night and the plot revolved around a middle-class, lady who robbed a bank at gun-point because they’d foreclosed on her house. In her defense, the lawyers talked about the bailouts and how none of the money was passed down to the individuals.

It’s good writing: emotional, with enough reality (bailouts) to prove their point: that corporate America is greedy & gets away with bad behavior.

Now, in penning the story, the writers couldn’t have brought in other points such as: 95% of the banks who were given the money have already paid it back, with interest.  To put that in would have violated the intention of the story: a good woman pushed to her breaking point by the big, bad government.

If the writers would have included that information 1) the woman would have been less sympathetic (2) the banks would have been more sympathetic.

It’s really important, when you’re writing, to make sure you know what you’re trying to say in your story, then using enough reality to push your point. It’s also really important not to include conflicting information that will yank readers around—unless, of course, that’s precisely your intention.

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