From Randy Ingerman’s Advanced Fiction Writing e-zine:
“Fiction is about telling lies. Big,fat, hairy, prevaricating lies. If you want to write about the truth, or approximately the truth, or even something remotely approaching the truth, then the career you’re looking for is called “Journalism.” It’s a fine career choice, but it isn’t fiction.”
To amend that, however, I wouldn’t say that fiction is entirely untrue. It’s just more about emotional and thematic truth than factual, this-really-happened-in-real-life truth. There has to be something real there, or nobody will read it. People don’t read complete BS; if they do, it’s either because they don’t realize it’s BS, or because they want to laugh about it with their friends.