Fiction is always based in truth on some level. Do you as a writer sometimes feel that your memoirs/part of your life story could just as well be pitched as a work of fiction that others would like to read?
Absolutely my memoir, which I am writing at present would pass as fiction and is a very interesting read. It's title, Where Were You, God? appears to be a spititual book, however it is merely asking Him where He was when I was being abused as a child. I am also writing a novel titled Before the Rooster Crows, a memoir of my mother's life struggles during WW l and the great depression, which I will say by comparison, was far worse than mine. Both stories are so strong, they need to be considered fiction, and they are written under my pen name so as not to cause pain for any living relatives.
Your books sound very interesting. What you said made me think. The reason we read fiction is to be entertained and perhaps educated. Maybe the reason we want to know that it is fiction is that when we read about someone's story - a real, live person's life - we'd feel more deeply. It would be more personal. It wouldn't be an escape any more...
Yes, I have lived life to the fullest and haven't been afraid to jump in where "angels may fear to tread." I got involved in "New Age" stuff in 1960 when it was just being introduced and never quit. I am 82 now and through the years, each decade was a new twist of experiences in my pathway.
That is fantastic, Joan! When I'm 82, I want to be able to say that I've lived life to the fullest too!! Thanks for sharing.
I think everyone has some aspects of their lives, large or small, that would make for interesting fiction. But, Haseena, you make an important observation in replying to Patty's comment. When people come to a book, they bring some preconceived notions. So if we present a book as fiction, people automatically resort to the place of escapism.
Of course one could also make the case that all fiction has some element of reality in it somewhere. After all, isn't truth stranger than fiction? Having said that, yes, there are a few situations in my life that I think would make for interesting reading for others. It's just a matter of finding the right venues for them!
Thanks everyone for your comments to my writing style. I believe we all have a story to tell, I also feel some stories are just too weird to write as truth. Hence tagging as fiction grabs the reader and takes them to a place that may not be quite so painful if they think it isn't so real. I hope that makes sense. Also, I think it avoids pain for the still living if tagged as a fiction.
If anyone is curios about how I do my magic, ( lol ), just ask and I'll post a couple of paragraphs.
Yes, I'm curious, Patricia!
Ekta, you should start writing those situations into your next book - people love reading about the personal details of others. Of course, that's not altogether good! I feel for celebrities who have to deal with journalists writing about their every action. But the truth is that unfortunately these things sell. But having said that, I think people are also looking for books where they can relate to the writer's story; where they know that they're not alone...and we also all need and want mentors - that's another reason that readers like a personal story - it helps them through difficult situations. And I think that in the end it doesn't matter whether you write fiction based on truth or truth that sounds like fiction. People just like being able to identify with it anyway.
Thanks, Haseena. I do have a notebook with notes that I make occasionally, but I also try to incorporate real-life stuff as I work on current stories. More than anything it's a time factor for me -- having enough time to write, period. With two young kids (almost 6 and 4) I'm busy enough, and then I've got my freelance editing/writing projects, and the house and a husband (who does require a few minutes of attention here or there :>.) Maybe when the kids are a little bit older, I'll have more time to write and focus on bringing the personal stuff into my fiction.
I've been too diverse in travel and attitude to make a single believable character, so I've balanced my real life experiences/people met with fiction. I've successfully published non-fiction stories about people and experiences along the way, but I also develop and merge these "characters and experiences" in my fiction.
I did a whole series about Blue Jeans, a character much loved by readers who grew from several people close to me. I think people love him so much and cheer for him because he is a composite of all the people I cared for, but never properly said goodbye to, so essentially he is "closure" personified.
Interesting, Sangay! Love that your character is a composite of so many. It must have been very therapeutic to create him!
@ Haseena, Here you go. Thanks.
I was twelve years old when it happened, 1957. Still playing with dolls dressed all lacey for a tea party, seated around a cardboard box overlaid with a piece of cloth awaiting imaginary tea poured from an empty plastic tea pot into tiny plastic tea cups.
It's summer, hot, humid, boring; not much to do for a kid living in the country once the chores are done. No TV, at least not for my family, we could never afford such luxury. Video games hadn’t formed a flicker in the inventor’s mind, heck he wasn’t even born yet. Of course, there were other toys around such as, roller skates? I dreamed of owning a pair, but where would I use them? I lived on a farm, they didn’t do well on dirt or gravel. Coloring books and crayons were my world, the two inch thick ones and a box of Crayola crayons with forty eight colors I received for Christmas. My only present, but it would keep me occupied in my mind all year, until the next Christmas when I received another set, or another doll. Not both, just one. I always hoped for the coloring book and crayons. Sprawled on my stomach, legs up and crossed over at the back of my knees on the front room floor, is where I expressed my feelings through coloring and the cheery colored pictures took me to another place in the universe. That was my sanctuary. Nothing painful was allowed in, only colorful rainbow colors of pink, baby blue, yellow, lavender, pale green; colors of magical fairies. Fuchsia, oh yes fuchsia, that one awakened me, still does. Other colors were allowed in, but only when I felt the need to acknowledge them. I used Black or brown crayons merely when I desired to outline or include into a scene. They stirred the pain that interrupted my haven and caused me to remember what I didn’t care to think about.
The only girl growing up with several brothers was at the very least, interesting. Certain times I was invited to play softball; even touch football with them. Weighing only about forty pounds with spindly legs that resembled tooth picks, my older brothers found boundless joy in grabbing me up and throwing me under their arm pit and running over the goal line for a touchdown. Thank God they never spiked me. All but one of my brothers held an endearing place in my heart. They watched over me, taught me how to swim, fish, even dig for clams on the Chesapeake Bay before moving to a dairy farm. I became so skilled at clam digging with no fear of the water I would wonder off and dig for clams alone on the shore. Based on an honor system, clam diggers often bury their first catch of shellfish inside sandy dunes on the shore, until they return from digging for additional clams in the shallow waters of the bay. No one told me clams only live in water. I was only six years old and thought they came ashore to rest. So, with pail and shovel in hand and dogged determination, one day, I headed straight for the sandy clam dunes. With glee I filled my pail, knowing when I took the fresh clam’s home; they would be received with enthusiastic praise, having saved the day by bringing home a meal for the entire family.
“Mattie, where on earth did you get these clams?” My mother asked me as though I had adorned a mask and gone out and robbed a bank.
“At the beach momma, they’re everywhere under the big sand hills.”
“Oh my lord Mattie, wait here while I call your brother inside.”
“Okay momma, are you excited?” I asked with a gleam in my eyes, so proud of my good deed.
“Just stay here Mattie!”
“Mattie, you cannot dig clams on the beach, they’re not ours.” My older brother said with a stern but caring tone, and a slight grin designed to hide from me.
“But they were just there doing nothing at all. Do you think they are bad clams?” I asked, unaware I had become a great clam thief overnight.
That grin I mentioned at once turned into explosive laughter by my brother, the one who was always there for me, patient, kind, teaching, protecting.
“Mattie I know you think you did a good thing, but we have to take the clams back,” he said bent down on one knee, his dark brown eyes peering into mine, “they belong to someone else.”
“Okay,” I said, and left it there knowing my brother would never lie to me.
So after reburying the clams in their honored place of rest in the dunes, he explained to me how the process of burying clams in the sand works. Later, Buddy walked with me into