My esteemed colleagues at the marketing firm I contract with have taught me many important lessons about life, work, and the intricacies of good design and sound programming. I’d like to think I have enriched their lives and work in return. For instance, I elevated their lunch-break distractions by rescuing them from the horror of bad science fiction soap opera and into Battlestar Galactica. Despite the superior quality of the series, my colleague had some hang-ups—particularly with regard to gravity where there shouldn’t have been any. Eventually, he resigned himself to the realization that it’s not ‘Science Reality’, it’s ‘Science Fiction’.
I’ve recently experienced some of my own hang-ups, with regard to “how it really happened”. I’ve entered into the “real” story within my story, which begins in Brazil circa 1933. The Perfectionist in me demands telling it as it really happened—with accurate historical details. I’ve diligently Googled, Wikipedia-ed and YouTubed, in English, Brazilian Portuguese (which I can mostly read), and German (which I cannot read, but can translate thanks to Google Chrome’s excellent translation feature). These resources have rewarded me with general information I need to start the story. However, they lack the specific details I want to proceed. I’ve emailed officials in Treze Tílias (the town in which my story takes place, formerly called Dreizehnlinden) asking for assistance but have not yet received a response.
So, what now? Allow my current inability to check historical facts to bring my story to a screeching halt just as it was starting to pick up momentum? Or plough ahead, imaginatively filling in the gaps as best I can, with the intention of adding additional detail and editing for accuracy later? Well, the Pragmatist in me has won: I choose the latter. After all, it’s not ‘Historical Reality’, it’s ‘Historical Fiction’.