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  • Writer's pictureDouglas James Troxell

When Reality and Fiction Collide...and Fiction Loses.

It's tough to be a writer in the modern world.

A writer's job is that of creator, innovator, world-builder. But what happens when reality is more outlandish than anything one could possibly create?

That's the conundrum writers find themselves in today. The world is ridiculous. There's no more subtle way of saying it. Donald Trump is president of the United States. The same weird-haired host of that reality show where he fired people on T.V. That's the guy. That's ridiculous. Maybe it would be different if that was the only anomaly, but it's just a symptom of the ludicrous age we find ourselves in.

So where does that leave writers? If we can't create worlds as dramatic or terrifying or fantastic as the reality we live in, what's the point? People can just open a newspaper for their fix of the fantastic or turn on the news.

But in this type of environment, writers are more important than ever. Writers are the mirror that is held up to society to show us what we truly are. And writers need to do nothing more than open a newspaper for inspiration for narratives. Why put the work in when the world will do it for you? My latest published short story "Modern-Day Heroes" was inspired by an online news story about a group of emergency personnel who watched a man slowly drown to death in the San Francisco Bay because of bullshit red tape issues. I didn't have to do much more than retell the events from the article. Boom! Story told.

My gut tells me that the world will continue to sink into the absurd until it finally consumes itself. I have little hope of a recovery anytime soon. And I plan to be there to hold up the mirror and make sense of the chaos.

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