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Ficton or Non-Fiction?

Ever have an UGLY day? You feel ugly; you look ugly, think and act ugly. That’s the kind of day I am having. (But I do like my outfit today… pink cargo corduroy pants and chocolate brown tee compliments of Abercrombie and Fitch)

Maybe it’s because my allergies and / or cold are making me runny, watery and itchy, so I feel gross. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept or eaten properly in weeks? Maybe it’s because I have had a really hard week and I am just beaten down all together? Or, maybe it’s because I was up until 330am wrestling with ideas, and, for the first time, I am conflicted as to how to proceed with my book project?

I never began my little book project as a “fictional” genre; I never had any genre in mind to be quite honest. I didn’t have a target audience, I just wrote it because I had to. I was surprised at the responses from all the people who read the roughest of drafts. I just have a story, and I must tell it. So, How am I going to tell it?

FICTION OR NON-FICTION?

That’s the million dollar question, and I can’t make up my mind. So I am STUCK! While every word in the book is based on actual events that happened in my real life story, I wonder if I should I change the main character from myself to a fictional name/person?

hmm… here’s the dilemma

I don’t ever want to get sued, or “James Fray-ed” in writing this. I know there will be people (who already deny things in the book ever happened) that will contest the contents and events of the story. Yes, the names have been changed, dates, times, locations have been altered. But, if I say it’s just a completely fictional book, there is nothing to contest.

But, on the other hand, I don’t want to rob myself of my story. I am not ashamed of anything I have done. (I feel bad, sometimes even guilty, about a lot of it, in retrospect, but not ashamed) I don’t want to bury the truth or hide under a veil of disgrace.

Even though I have been told “how far I have come” and that some how has been translated into “clean up your act” to reflect the “accomplishments” I have made, and in order to keep up apperances, I should keep THAT stuff a “secret”.

Then, It has been suggested to me, that the book will carry more weight, if it is “based on a TRUE STORY.” And, if it is a fictional book, questions might be raised like why didn’t I have certain characters killed off, or, add other crazy or interesting twists?

If I write it as a fictional book, and people investigate my real life, they will see that most / if not all / of the book really DID happen. So, what’s the point in making it fiction?

Maybe, it will cause more “hype” if / when people try to find out what part is fictional, verses what part is truth?

soooo many questions, thoughts, ideas, confusion….

Yesterday, I was all set to change the book to fiction, in part because of my own fears, and in part, at the behest of my mother.

Last night, after a few emails from friends, all of which rejected the go-fiction concept, I had my book meeting.

It was decided that the book SHOULD be “BASED ON A TRUE STORY” because the EVENTS are REAL. But, I can say the characters / events are compilations of many people / events combined. Some of it happened to me, some of it didn’t, and some of the characters are three people’s stories into one.

Then, is it a fictional book, based on a true story? Or, is it a non-fiction book?

Does that make any sense? Am I making any sense?

Big sister Leslie, Al, Rodger, Mr. “O”, Male BFF, Mom & Dad, Adam & Traci, Lee& Maya, Rick & Bob… or any internet person, please comment or email me…. make suggestions, give me advice!

DISTRAUGHT:

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  • Anonymous

    A very easy and stong read….excellent! ………just remember us small people after your first million!

  • Anonymous

    So far I think its great! However I would like to punch that Breez guy in the face. That’s kinda F’d up taking an already misguided teen to a place like that to get a job. But I don’t want to prejudge yet, he might turnout to be a better guy in the end.
     
    By the way I have a lot of respect for you! I know how I was when I was 17 and there is no way I would have made it on my own.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t leave me hanging with just two chapters! I don’t like to be left in suspense, I need to know what happens next.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t do fiction…BFD

  • THEQUEENOFPERSIAâ„¢

    THIS STORY IS NOT FICTION, COME ON BABE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
    JUST WRITE YOUR STORY.
    JUST FINISH YOUR STORY.
    FINISH IT, AS YOU ARE ALREADY WRITING IT.
    THESE ARE ACTUAL EVENTS.
    PROTECT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE STORY IN YOUR MIND BY RENAMING THEM FOR THE BOOK.
    I AM STILL SO PROUD, YOU CAN DO THIS…SO JUST DO IT, EXACTLY HOW YOU HAVE BEEN! ITS GREAT.
    LOVE,
    YOUR #1 FAN

  • Leslie

    Meleah I’ve known you since you were thirteen ahd I was 15. I’ve read both “versions” of the story. I flat out like the first version best, warts, bad spelling and all. I liked it best because it spoke from your heart.

    You have worked too hard and come too far to trivialize your life by trying to make it palatable to others. Write YOUR story and worry about publishing it later. I think your vision is clouded by trying to be A SUCCESS when what your heart wants is to write your story down, period.

    Besides, You may find that once it is written you can see it more clearly and know what to do with it – publish it, or move on to something else once it is all out of your head and heart and onto paper.

    I’m glad you hooked up with a person who may have connections in the book world through his TV and Radio stuff that can help you, but I don’t understand why you are allowing him too take over your book. Why the nightly meetings? why so involved? Most editors and publishers are NOT this involved until the FINAL edit, once the book is already written. It is weird to me. Just My late night two cents.

    Love always, Leslie

  • Anonymous

    OLLY says:

    STOP WITH THE MENTAL tourture ALREADY STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW FOR NOW FOR CONTENT. YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK AND TWIST AND TURN AND REFINE. YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY AND YOU ARE LOVED NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO SWEETHEART SO JUST YEEBEN DO IT LIKE MOM SAYS.

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