Naturally, you invent some things when you’re writing a novel, and you bend some others to improve the fit.
But some other elements deliberately stretch reality, hopefully with good reason. Besides, that’s why it’s called fiction.
- There were no elders in my dorm, they just didn’t care. Or in most hippie circles. The ones who tried to be leaders are a whole other disaster.
- Swami wasn’t a guy in my experience, but readers couldn’t accept a woman in the role. Besides, I couldn’t nickname her Big Pumpkin, could I?
- No boat trips in a commercially open Arkansas cave. Maybe someday?
- No place on the Ohio River in Indiana is only an hour away from Naptown. I applied a bit of fantastical geography to better match the feel.
- No hitchhiking in any subway system I know of. Subway surfing is another matter.
- Kokopelli never left the Southwest, and I doubt he was in trouble the way Coyote would have been.
- Goodwin didn’t open up the family purse as liberally when it came to upgrading the paper.
- Kenzie’s sex life wasn’t this good. He had only one Summer of Love.
- I can’t actually prove or disprove what was going on in the university president’s bedroom.
- Small-town newspaper columnists don’t have contracts. Or anyone acting as their agent.