Writing Fiction in the Age of Trump

2018-04-09 – I spent the weekend in an intensive two-day class on writing for musical theater at Chicago Dramatist Workshop. My project is a musical adaptation of my (unfinished) novel “Cain’s Mother-in-Law.” I’ve been working on the novel for around 10 years. I’ve been working on the musical for three.

From time to time on this blog I’ve written about the nature of truth. Several years ago (even before Trump), I started celebrating a truth day, which I call Diogenes Day. You can read some of my posts on the subject by going to my Diogenes Day page. I’ve also written about truth and fiction, since fiction (labeled as fiction) doesn’t seem to be the same thing as a lie—and often may contain more truth than some things that are labeled as factual reporting (here’s another of my posts on the subject).

Yesterday, Trump got into the discussion:


Of course, Trump has no idea of the meaning of the words “truth,” “lie,” or “fiction.”

As a writer, I find that the deeper I go into my fictional topic, the more truth I find within it. For example, in my musical, I have a character who is a bully. In all previous drafts, this character was a solitary character. I wanted to add some pizzazz to a scene and I provided him with a kind of doo-wop chorus to back up one of his solo songs. And suddenly I realized that my bully would be more true-to-life if I abandoned his solitary characterization and had him, instead, travel with a gang.

That’s probably how most bullies work in real life, as well.

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