At the moment I’m in the middle of another horror story – yes, there have been a few now – which involves a story line set during the gold rush days of New Zealand. I’ve read a few bits and pieces on the subject, and have decided to just give it a crack and see how it pans out. This is another way of saying, ‘I’ll just sort the details out later’.
In doing so, it’s almost impossible not to base it on stereotypes and tropes from the TV and movies. In this case, a large chunk of material is from a combination of the TV show Deadwood, and Back to the Future 3 (which I think we can all agree… was the best in the trilogy).
But when you find out that the fact is less interesting, or more likely, completely different to the fictional perception of a subject, which do you use? People have an expectation of what gold mining and prospecting is, and it’s invariably based around the American Wild West.
I imagine in New Zealand there were less native Indians, spurs on boots, and ZZ Top jamming at an evening’s dance. The same dance I might add where a reckless Marty disrupts the space time continuum by preventing Doc from being shot in the back by Mad Dog Tannen.
In reality I’m sure it was far more mild-mannered and polite, with native flightless birds, gum boots and… I don’t know, Fat Freddy’s Drop playing somewhere.
It’s a bit like writing a story about a rural police station located in the sleepy, New Zealand countryside, but using the movie Bad Boys 2 as your source material. Yes, it may be factually inaccurate, but it’ll be a more interesting read.
And at the end of the day, its fiction innit…