EMPATHY - Writelog 03
When people write fiction that's heavily inspired by their own life experiences - a technique commonly known as roman a clef - the usual concerns are for maintaining the privacy of the people involved and ensuring that they are truthfully captured.
But what if the author has never truly met these people? What if the fictionalized character follows a path that the author wasn't privy to, and met real people whose lives are a mystery? These people can't be veiled truths anymore, they must by nature cross into the realm of the truly fictional. Yet they still stand in for people who are real.
So what is the author's obligation to these people? I don't have an answer.