JOAN BARTH ON: IMAGINATION
Writing fiction respects our imagination. It is much different from writing non-fiction which is more risky.
We’ve all learned: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” All the signs of danger were in place for the man who shot innocent soldiers at Fort Hood and the terrorist who was ready to set off a bomb in Detroit on Christmas Day, but no one said anything or wrote down their feelings.
Are you upfront with your friend if he’s behaving strangely, or do you ever talk to a mutual friend about it?
Did Nidal Hasan’s friends tell him he needed to talk about his anger? Did Abdulmutallab’s friends discourage him from staying in Yemen?
Will someone now use these events to spark a story? And is it less risky to use your imagination rather than the facts?