May 12 – Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

The Prompt

Fictionalize an almost-unbelievable real-life story

They say that fiction is harder to write than true-life stories, because fiction has to make sense.

A friend of mine recently told me a true tale of astonishing machinations in the local politics of her small town.

“If you put that in a novel, I wouldn’t believe it,” I said.

Likewise, the Chilean Miners’ story or the Apollo 13 story would have been roundly mocked as unbelievable, idealistic, romantic nonsense if offered up as fiction by careless writer.

The Prompt

Fictionalize an almost-unbelievable real-life story


  • Think of the most outrageous story anyone ever told you about their family, their vacation, their town. Find a way to write the story and make it believable.
  • You may have to change some of the elements: dial up or back on the drama.
  • You may have to invent reasons for coincidences, where none existed in real life — just as Nature abhors a vaccuum; Story abhors a coincidence!
  • If you’re really stuck, try searching the web for incredible real-life escapes, near-misses, or surprises.


Post a comment at the blog to let us know you’ve written today, or join the community and post in the Victory Dance Group.

And, once you’ve written, here’s your reward for today: the latest, clinically-researched techniques to strengthen your core muscles and prevent all that lower back pain writers complain about! Click on it AFTER you’ve written your story.

3 thoughts on “May 12 – Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction”

  1. I had a bit of a struggle with this. Maybe I don’t notice such ‘trivia’ I read it, but I don’t absorb it.

    And I got the 800 words done!

    I chose the reception of the news that the Wright Brothers had realised their dream of flying, by a father and son on a potato farm in Idaho, with their wild varied take on the information.

    It was fun!

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