Tips by HG Nadel on Writing - Fictionalizing Stories from Your Life


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The old cliche from the television show Dragnet, "...the names have been changed to protect the innocent" hods true. Often, though, just changing the name might be insufficient


If you are writing stories from your life, there are may reasons to fictionalize them, or at least fictionalize elements of them. Let us briefly focus on three:

 

1. For your benefit

2. For the benefit of the people you are writing about

3. For the benefit of your reader

 

We will start with the most obvious, for benefit of the people you are writing about.

 

For the People You are Writing About

 

The old cliche from the television show Dragnet, "...the names have been changed to protect the innocent" hods true. Often, though, just changing the name might be insufficient. Consider: You are writing a story about an experience that your child had. If you simply change his or her name, but leave the locations, characteristics and circumstance the same, it will become very obvious to anyone who cares to look who the model was. The child will grow up and feel violated by the story.

 

In this case, HG Nadel recommends changing enough that the essence of the story is still there, but the particulars are imagined as if the entire thing were a fictional story you are writing. If your child is named Bill, consider changing it to Janice. This will immediately remove the story from specifics that will embarrass the child.

 

If the person is not a child, some of the same things might apply.

 

For Your Readers

 

When you write something from your life, you are crammed with information about the incident or incidents. There are things that happened in real life at the same time that are not really directly related to the incident. There are steps that happened that are really inconsequential to it. It is very difficult to edit these things out because it feels like a violation of the truth and you are telling the story, after all, because it is the truth.

 

By giving yourself fictional elements, you must then really look at what the point of the story is, what beginning, middle and end that would express that point and what people you need for that. It becomes much easier to edit a story that you are not as invested in. In reality, the third and fourth time your teacher screamed at you were as awful to experience as the first. For a reader, however, the first and second will probably be more than sufficient to get the point across and more than that might make their mind wander.

 

Here is where fictionalizing can be powerful for the reader:

 

For Yourself

 

The parody of the Dragnet quote is, "The names have been changed to protect the guilty." This was funny through about the mid-sixties, but it is important, here. Besides the benefit for you of making it easier to edit, fictionalizing your story will make it much less likely that you will be sued, or, at the very least, harassed by someone you have exposed or profiled.

 

This is not a small thing.

 

This is a brief discussion of why fictionalizing a story from your life might be effective or wise. These are not rules.

 

HG Nadel is an educator and an author who is passionate about creativity. Nadel is known as the author of "Eternal" a love story aside from that she is also engaged as recording artist and record producer. She is extremely engaging and charismatic presenter. Her expertise in young adult drama has allowed her to write captivating coming-of-age stories in both English and French

To read more, please visit here: http://hgnadel.dudaone.com/




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