Poetic License

Today I’m contemplating how much poetic license is available to writers when creating realistic plots and characters. I don’t write fantasy, therefore I believe my characters and stories have to be believable. Saying that, often things need to be stretched to fit in fiction. I’m wondering how far you think novelists can stretch the truth or manipulate certain things to the benefit of their story world.

I’ll try to explain a little better. I’m currently about to start writing the second in a series of three linked books. In the first I introduced an American cop – blame my muse – who I knew would be the hero of the second book. I’m already in total lust with Noah Tucker but now I’m starting to research I’m wondering if the position I’ve put him in is possible and if it’s not, if it actually matters.

He’s only in Australia on a transfer for a short time. While not giving too much of the plot away, he didn’t want to go into witness protection in the US and therefore someone high up in the American police force, who is friends with someone high up in the Australian police force, suggested he go work in Oz for a while until the criminal who wants him dead is behind bars. While this fits my story perfectly, I’m not sure it would be possible in real life.

My research shows while cops can transfer to Australia from overseas they need to go through police training again in Australia and therefore am guessing a direct transfer would cause a few problems. This is the only part of my plot, I’m not sure legally/technically works.

What I’m asking YOU, is am I allowed a little poetic license to make this story work?

Would LOVE your thoughts!


21 thoughts on “Poetic License

  1. Rach, what if Officer Tucker (heh heh) “shadows” another officer, or is given a mentor cop he goes on shifts with. Like a Cops Without Borders type of program. Is it possible with your story timeline to fast forward through Tucker’s academy training in Austrailia? Those are my thoughts if you want to try and stay real. I think it’s okay to take creative license too and switch it up a little bit. Xoxo

  2. I suppose if he was over here on advisement for counter terrorism there would be no need for him to be off in the scrub meeting your heroine. I assume he has to be a police officer because you’ve put him as that in a previous book.

  3. Rach, I think you can take poetic license here. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known that further training was required if you hadn’t mentioned it, and I also doubt I would have even thought of the requirements to be a police officer in another country.

    Plus, I think this is a small omission, and nothing certainly out of the ordinary. Maybe a disclaimer in the notes, if it really bugs you?

  4. Racy, what I want to know is if you picked Noah because of The Notebook? Watched that film twice at the weekend, my house was a sobfest. As for rest? Who cares? Don’t sweat the small stuff!

  5. While it would be nice if the reality could exactly fit the plot, it seems to me that few readers would know such specific details. Therefore, they would not be likely to reject the story as impossible and would still be able to empathise with it. That’s just my take, anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi Rachael, I was thinking that if he had specialised training in a particular field, then he could be a consultant or a liason between the US and Oz police force – or he could be ‘sent over’ to give an American slant to a crime problem – especially if what he is working on has a US connection that he was involved in prior to his needing to come to Oz.

  7. Hi Rachael, I am agreeing with Chanprett and Margaret Sharps, I love fiction, nice that it is believable, but also when I read fiction that is exactly what I believe I am reading , fiction. Loving Man Drought

  8. Love the subject your discussing. As someone who is poetic and enjoys writing a little sci-fi, you can already guess – I love breaking the rules.

    I say: YES! Poetic licence all the way. =)

    I think, if anything, you can use the trouble your having for your story’s plot for your protagonist to solve, not for you (the author).

    As authors, we create the solutions and open up the world to new possibilities. So if you don’t want to deal with the troubles, then just don’t. You are creating the reality the way you want it to be; feel free to do what you want.

    Love & peace,

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