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Old 02-15-2014, 07:22 AM   #41
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I like to read autobiographies. I often think while reading that some of their experiences are embellishments. I don't think it is necessarily fraudulent though, but the way our minds work. I think over time all our experiences get embellished to some extent and eventually get stored in memory that way. Who hasn't been at a family gathering where someone brings up an old memory that just doesn't jive with the way you remember it? I think we do it in social conversation all the time (my experiences were bigger/better than yours). I think the OP is feeling some reserve because he knows it didn't happen. I do think making some disclaimer that there may be embellishment wouldn't necessarily hurt interest in the book. And would allow OP to sleep at night.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:57 AM   #42
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Applying the same rules to historical reporting and retelling of personal anecdotes seems pretty severe to me. When I get together with siblings and talk family events from back in the day, our recollections differ, often in important ways, especially when psyche, embarrassment or sibling rivalry is involved. Who has the perfect memory to recall that which happened, with every detail perfectly recaptured?

I think the standard for personal stories, especially when the purpose is to provide humor for the pleasure of others, is high, but also different. It must be based on truth, but it also must be retold to be funny. And it should come at the expense of neither the reader nor the author's family and friends, but only the author. Free of literary license it would be little more than a boring essay.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:37 AM   #43
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Thanks for the perspectives. I'm going to stick closer to what I remember, but will take some license. The distinction between this and historical non-fiction will be quite clear.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:07 PM   #44
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I don't know for sure, but it seems like you are heading down a slippery slope, claiming something really minor and unimportant (although amusing) happened to you when it really happened to Lena, AND additionally wanting to claim you went downstairs from your bedroom, when in fact, your bedroom was on the first floor. Al, when will this lying all end?

Watch it, TromboneAl, your legacy may be at stake here. You probably don't want to be remembered as "ReprehensibleAl".

And, speaking of taking license, (as someone discussed in an earlier post) you might be pleased to learn that yesterday I took my written driver's license test and passed, missing only one question.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #45
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I was watching a movie a few days ago and in the beginning there was a disclaimer saying that the movie "was based on a true story." Maybe that would work for you.

And, I have a hunch nobody in the history of the world could have a really interesting book written about him/her unless is was somehow embellished or license was taken. Four hundred pages of pure accuracy. I doubt it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:01 AM   #46
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Cross posted from the what have you read recently thread due to relevance:

I thoroughly enjoyed Juan Carlos Blake's, "Red Grass River." It is a historical novel about a family gang of moonshiners in south Florida circa 1910 - 1925. Blake writes in a Florida cracker dialog that really captures the flavor of the people, place and time. Trombone Al (see his thread about writing) will be pleased to know that Blake takes great liberty with the facts to capture the spirit of the thing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:31 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redduck View Post
I was watching a movie a few days ago and in the beginning there was a disclaimer saying that the movie "was based on a true story." Maybe that would work for you. ...

That wasn't "Fargo" was it?

For those who don't get the joke, I'll leave the googling to you.


-ERD50
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:41 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
That wasn't "Fargo" was it?

For those who don't get the joke, I'll leave the googling to you.


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Pretty darn good guess. And for a treat, it should be googled--leading to Snopes.
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Embellishing Stories in my Book
Old 02-19-2014, 08:57 AM   #49
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Embellishing Stories in my Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Cross posted from the what have you read recently thread due to relevance:

I thoroughly enjoyed Juan Carlos Blake's, "Red Grass River." It is a historical novel about a family gang of moonshiners in south Florida circa 1910 - 1925. Blake writes in a Florida cracker dialog that really captures the flavor of the people, place and time. Trombone Al (see his thread about writing) will be pleased to know that Blake takes great liberty with the facts to capture the spirit of the thing.

That sounds like a good book. As a novel it would certainly be appropriate to fictionalize some or all of the facts. I can't wait to see the novel Al could come with. I just don't think he needs to gild the lilies of his entertaining life in this memoir, but it is his book.

At the very beginning of the American Hustle movie is a funny statement: "Some of this actually happened." The movie openly fictionalizes Abscam but bases some of its fictional characters on some of the real characters, not using their real names, etc.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:56 AM   #50
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If I bought a non-fiction book and later found out that some of the stories actually happened to other people and some of the funniest incidents were actually made up, I'd probably be a bit disappointed. I'm not even sure why it would bother me if I enjoyed the book in the first place but it would.

As long as the book contained notice that "names and places have been changed to protect the innocent" and other artistic license has been taken, I'd say go for it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:40 AM   #51
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This is a book that will be sold to the general public? I would think you could write whatever you feel like. I do have to laugh that this person doesn't want to embarrass "Lena". Do any of us know Lena? Is she going to care when this book makes them famous and wealthy? Will we be whispering behind her back, "Oh god, she's the one". Maybe you could write under your "writers name" (I forget what you call it) and give her a "fictional name" too.
Don't mean to offend. This just struck my funny bone or was it your funny bone I forgot who I was writing about.
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