Sunday, September 29, 2019

Facts matter, even in, shocker, nonfiction

This is why I write fiction. It's like a jazz jam session. Just write and ramble and tell a story and let it rock n roll. Nobody comes back and says: "Bags Morton didn't really get his ear shot off in a McDonald's drive-thru!"

Yes, he did. In my (does best SpongeBob impersonation) imagggginaaaaation.

An example of nonfiction "truth":
In his new book, “Talking to Strangers,” Malcolm Gladwell writes that poets have “far and away the highest suicide rates,” as much as five times the rate for the general population. The statistic struck Andrew Ferguson, a writer for The Atlantic, as odd, so he tracked down its source: a paper that cited a 1993 book by Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist who based the finding on suicides among 36 “major British and Irish poets born between 1705 and 1805.” Somehow, a narrow analysis of a few dozen 18th- and 19th-century poets was mistakenly applied to all poets, then amplified in a best-selling book.

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