Rip, Fantasize, Sanitize!
"Rip it," is the first thought that crosses the mind. "Take it, quickly make it your own. Just ignore the shades of color or even the tone!" The excitement swallows all else.
But is that the right path?
A tucked away voice in my heart says "Don't just rip it...fantasize it...and in the end sanitize it!"
I ain't talking dirty here, all I am trying is to figure out, what separates a non-fiction writer from a commercial- fiction writer. See, a non-fiction writer would rip straight from the headline, and rightfully so, that's his job to present facts. On the other hand, a commercial-fiction writer has the opportunity to rip from the headline, add a lil' cool fantasy color to it and then sanitize it to blend in the overall context.
Let me explain it with an example:
During Punk Sunk Love there was this one crucial plot point that for some unknown reason became eerie similar to Devika Kewalramani case in New York. For those who have forgotten, it was the case where an IFS diplomat got embroiled in a domestic help exploitation case.
There was tonnes of meat in the news articles that I could have snatched right off the bone, had I chosen Devika's PoV, but I didn't, and I am glad that I fantasized it to a different PoV that actually raises all the right questions, and, presents an excellent opportunity for the creative readers to further extend the experience with their own fantasies. Isn't that why we read anyway? Because it's intimate, personal, imaginative, hallucinative; and for each his or her own.
See, I am always thinking about my readers, and people say that writers are full of themselves :(
Over to you now! When you read the book would you rate my fantasizing -- and sanitizing -- skills, please?