Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Fact vs Fiction...

by Matt Lynn

I haven’t been writing very much on this blog, largely because I’ve been rattling out a quick book on the Greek crisis for Wiley. The book was written at huge speed – a couple of months – and will be out in November. That was exhilarating in itself. As most of us know, the process of writing can be pretty leisurely. It takes a long time to write a book, and just as long for the publisher to bring it out. This one will be about five months total from Wiley getting in touch about the idea to the book hitting the shelves.

For me, it was also a chance to reflect on the difference between writing fact and fiction. I wrote a couple of business books much earlier in my career, but this was the first one I had done since I took up writing fiction.

It is a very different process. Obviously, the non-fiction book involves a lot more research. On the other hand, the story is just there. You collect the facts, marshal them into a coherent argument, then tell the story.

In fiction, you have to create every detail of the story yourself. You have to create the characters, and make them real. You need twists and denouements. It’s far harder work.

The funny thing is, most people looking at ‘Bust’ would assume it was a far more serious book than, say, ‘Fire Force’. But a book like ‘Fire Force’ is far more difficult to write.

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