But here’s the thing: with the Faith, you are–very, very carefully–not making stuff up. Indeed, the whole point of writing about the Faith is to be as unoriginal as you can possibly be. My goal in writing about the Faith is not to invent but to hand on something as accurately as I can. As I am fond of saying, the great thing about being Catholic is that you can plagiarize and call it “being faithful to the Tradition”.
But with fiction? Man! That’s hard. You aren’t just repeating (and translating) a Tradition you didn’t invent so that people can hear it and understand it. You are creating a world from whole cloth! People who never existed. Things that never happened. Things that could never happen.
My whole psychological training for thirty years has been “Stick to the truth” and now, in fiction, I’m absolutely encouraged to just make stuff up. It’s tough. It feels wrong.
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