by Dandi Daley Mackall I grew up on my parents’ amazing true war stories—how Mom joined the Army as a nurse when WWII broke out and Dad signed up to report to the Army the day after he got his medical degree. Even as a kid, Read More
January 31, 2017 10:14 AM EST
A lot of good comments for those of us planning to use some of our family's history in fiction. You are telling us to do the hard thing--impersonalize it and make it a fiction story. I particularly like your suggestion to write a true non-fiction family history FIRST, to get it out of your system and so other family members who don't have access to that trunk can share in their ancestors' history. Thanks for the post.
Excellent. I wish I would have had this info when I decided to make my family's story into a novel. Fortunately I did at least some of what you mention here. I first wrote a family history, then started making it into a novel. Eventually the characters based on the real people took on lives of their own. I am still amazed at the great plot line that the real story provided. I only had to ramp up the conflict a bit and embellish the scenes, because the real life story was so dramatic and I had so many amazing anecdotes to work with.
January 31, 2017 11:41 AM EST
Robyn, I agree this is excellent advice to write the true life story first. I wonder if it might also free up writers who have trouble letting go of what really happened to write what needs to happen to form a novel ARC. It might also help some writers let go of the tedious details and anecdotes that don't add to scenes and sequence. Thanks for commenting! I'll draw a name at the end of the week to win a copy of the novel! btw, if you want to sign up for my blog articles, mostly on writing craft, you can do so under the Blogletter tab. Thanks!
January 31, 2017 11:45 AM EST
Rose, isn't that so true! Real life is more fascinating than what our imaginations can create. It's why I believe that nonfiction research is the bedrock of fiction. (I have an article about that on my blog. It's easier to find the articles by title on the Blogletter tab.)Your name is thrown into the drawing now. At the end of the week I'll announce who wins a copy of the novel! btw, if you want to sign up for my blog articles, mostly on writing craft, you can do so under the Blogletter tab. Thanks!