One of my characters is sick, she has a disease. This requires research on my part, and this leads me to real people. Real people? This is fiction!!!
I land on blogs and read about personal struggles with the disease, or their children’s struggles with it. I read about misdiagnosis, treatments that went wrong. I read about real lives. Real losses. And it sits in my belly, and it festers, and I wonder why in the world am I writing about this? This is too much.I can’t handle this. Plus, what right do I have to try to interpret this kind of situation?
But I keep going, and eventually the ache passes, but the lives of these people who I’ve crossed, even just for a moment on the internet, leave an imprint on me. And I tell myself this is what writing is all about, imagining stories, living in other realities.
How about you, do you ever include the stories of real people in your fiction?