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It’s my “baby” now...Kids are bigger, although I love to talk about them too...but this blog is one for my book...

One huge concern about writing about real people and events is that you want to tell the story, you want to tell it well and in a way that readers will want to read and listeners will want to listen, but....

There’s that little-bitty part about real people and their feelings, etc.  

I once saw / read an interview with the late Frank McCourt who wrote Angela's Ashes  . His book was amazing, award-winning and inspiring, yet, he felt he could never go back to his other home country of Ireland again, and most of his family wasn't speaking to him.  He made a huge profit from his work, had peer recognition, and took the risk. It paid off financially, but I am not sure about what it did to his personal life.  He pissed off a lot of folks!

I don’t want this.  I want something to feel proud of.  I want my neighbors, old classmates and friends to pick up my book, (or download it), and NOT think, ‘Man, what a ludicrous load of white trash!‘.  I am working very hard to make sure that even if I have a sort of “negative” character in my story or one who has made some mistakes along the way, that they are not left that way in the end, especially if they are someone who is still living.  Yeah...I have a few goof-balls and flakey people described in the book...

But, who doesn’t have some sort of pervy but harmless kooky uncle, a meddling nosey neighbor, the delinquent neighborhood ‘tween boy who blasts Ozzy Osbourne metal music and shoots bottle rockets at squirrels or that eccentric cousin nobody talks to in their clan?

None of these types are bad  people....They're just characters...and they sure do make an otherwise ordinary tale a hellova lot more entertaining!  Some of the kooks and fruits actually can become some of the most beloved folks who figure into the big story!

So I have included them to add pizzazz and local color. I am not writing for spite or revenge.  I am not venting and blaming my parents. I am not looking to publicly shame anyone. In fact, for many people, I have made the effort to change names and avoid sur-names.  I have made the artistic decision to include a few “bad guys” and off-beat rogues to round out the cast of people who figure(d) into my life because it makes great story-telling.  Real people don’t have all perfect habits, do they? In literature they would be considered to have character flaws, tragic flaws or be foils to another person in the book.

So I hope readers and especially my family and friends would understand that no malice is intended if I included a person in this book, and they are not someone of the highest moral standing on every page. Readers also need to understand that sometimes, real people change too...Someone who behave(d) in one way in 1970, for example, may be completely different by 1987, and I tried to show this in the book as my story moves along.  If you aren’t pleased as punch, just work with me, people; Keep with the reading program; See how it all works out....Then judge when you finish...

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Aug 2, 2010
    • Paige, I totally understand what you‘re saying. You might even consider some “front matter” saying something similar to what you‘re saying in this blog. Or you could change the kookie uncle to a fictional kookie sister-in-law, just so as not to inadvertently offend anyone, and note that in the forward all the characters are real except - and then list the fictional characters.  

      I sense that your book is going to be loving, gentle, and ethical, but many writers - even memoir writers - do include fictional characters when necessary if they want to keep the “kookie character” but avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

      Anyway, good thoughts. You‘re on a great path.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Aug 2, 2010
    • Great points offered here. heartheart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Paige Strickland wrote Aug 3, 2010
    • Lola:  Do you have a topic to write about yet?  P.

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