Happy Thursday, gang! :)
As a non-fiction writer, it was of the utmost importance to have all of your facts and data correct. You need to be sure of the material you are writing. Just the facts, ma'am.
I started in non-fiction, I found myself getting easily flustered in the details. The sequences of events and the details had to be perfect. I remember sending an e-mail to my editor in a panic about Liz's age. I needed to have everything be perfect and factual.
The more fiction I have written, the easier I have been on myself regarding the details. It's not to say that I don't take the details seriously, because I do still want my fiction to be believable. It's just that I have found freedom with my writing in that it's ok to play with certain things.
For example, I have been diligently writing the prequels to Loving Her. In Liz's story, there is one event that technically would not have taken place when it did. But, the timing (both real & fictional) isn't really important in the grand scheme of the story.
Good fiction needs to be believable, it does need to be real, but only to a certain extent. You can play with dates, you can fudge the details. There is so much more to fiction that just mere fact. You write details in description, in the characters, in the events.
As much as I am detail, factual kind of person, I greatly enjoy the freedom that fiction has given me. I love that I can now blend creativity and fact. I love that the final product of that blending is a story that you can believe, but that also tickles your imagination.
There is a freedom to fiction that I simply adore, and I hope you do too! :)
Happy reading! :)