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jennifer75
09-13-2007, 01:48 AM
If you have a compelling story to tell, and want it to be known that it is a true story, how do you feel about certain tidbits (personal and shocking) being known by those close to you?

It's a big SURPRISE!!! and a GUESS WHAT, YOU REALLY DIDN'T KNOW ME AT ALL... to some of course, and not knowing how they will react or judge you is a huge thing for me. I'm contemplating labeling it as fiction.

How do you get passed this especially when you know your experiences may help others?

jennifer75
09-14-2007, 08:48 PM
What the fark?!?!?! No suggestions at ALL?

Big sigh.

AmyBA
09-14-2007, 09:20 PM
I guess the only way to get past it is to keep reminding yourself how much your story could help others.

melaniehoo
09-14-2007, 09:29 PM
I'm a little nervous, but I'm trying not to worry about that yet. Once I finish my first draft, then some edits, then rework some parts, I'll decide. I'm debating either showing people the parts that pertain to them, or the entire work so they can see how it fits into the whole story. ie-why it's important I include that moronic comment my real dad's wife said, etc.

I've already had a "non-chalant" conversation with my mom, telling her some comments I've read on this site. The one that stuck out is how no one will like everything you say, even if you think you're being really nice, so you have to decide if it's worth it & hope they'll understand.

I will also be disclosing how I was not completely honest with my former employer - nothing major, more a timing issue - so I may send them a heads-up email. ;)

jennifer75
09-14-2007, 09:44 PM
I'm a little nervous, but I'm trying not to worry about that yet. Once I finish my first draft, then some edits, then rework some parts, I'll decide. I'm debating either showing people the parts that pertain to them, or the entire work so they can see how it fits into the whole story. ie-why it's important I include that moronic comment my real dad's wife said, etc.

I've already had a "non-chalant" conversation with my mom, telling her some comments I've read on this site. The one that stuck out is how no one will like everything you say, even if you think you're being really nice, so you have to decide if it's worth it & hope they'll understand.

I will also be disclosing how I was not completely honest with my former employer - nothing major, more a timing issue - so I may send them a heads-up email. ;)

See, I wont have any apologizing or explaining to do, as none of the parties in my story are in my life now, and they probably don't even remember me. I wont use real names, so I guess I'm already hiding quite well. But there are those around me who will be interested in reading that I'm worried about.

Argh. I guess, just like yourself, once it's rewritten and edited and all that crud, I'll know how to market it.

melaniehoo
09-14-2007, 11:13 PM
I say apologize like I've done something really bad - most of my story focuses on me & my husband, so it's mostly the flashbacks that affect others. There are a few people that I'll just change the name and leave it at that, but I want my family talking to me afterwards.

I'll have some surprises, but that's what makes it interesting, right? :)

Shwebb
09-15-2007, 12:58 AM
I go through the same thing, Jennifer, when I write some of my true tales.

I get wrapped up in the telling of the story, though, and I don't even think about it until after. When I had my essay in the Stories of Strength anthology, it mentions my struggles with depression and suicide. My relatives read it and it was a bit like "coming out."

At the same time, I've had people contact me privately and tell them the story meant a lot to them, and that makes it worth it, to me.

In the end, we have to say, "This is my story. This is how I remember it." And screw it if someone else remembers differently. It's not their story.

melaniehoo
09-15-2007, 01:19 AM
At the same time, I've had people contact me privately and tell them the story meant a lot to them, and that makes it worth it, to me.

In the end, we have to say, "This is my story. This is how I remember it." And screw it if someone else remembers differently. It's not their story.

Both worthy points. I just received an email from my cousin - her friend is about to go through my experience, so I feel my story may have some relevance after all. :)

Little Red Barn
09-15-2007, 02:16 AM
"If you have a compelling story to tell, and want it to be known that it is a true story, how do you feel about certain tidbits (personal and shocking) being known by those close to you?"

Well, it is indeed your story -- you had to live it, you have a right to write it. Personal, shocking does sometimes mean you must swallow pride. And only you can weigh the value of exposing.

Good luck.

Sohia Rose
09-23-2007, 08:11 AM
I told a friend of mine (an associate, really) the other day that she’s co-staring in at least two chapters of my memoir. I even gave her a couple of scenarios from the top of my head. She said, “Really? That’s what you thought about that? You didn’t say anything.” I said, “I didn’t say anything, but I thought a lot of things about what happen.” She said, “Wow! I don’t really know you, do I?” Guess not. :Shrug:

pollykahl
09-25-2007, 03:10 PM
It sounds like it might be too early to worry about any of this now. My sugg would be to write the entire thing as best as you can, and as honestly as you can. The best way to be honest is to tune into yourself, rather than worrying about reactions from others. Then, like most writers, it will probably take some time - maybe a loooong time - to even get agented. Your book may be vastly changed once it gets agented and past editors. Then, your publisher may have their legal team go through it to look for any potential legal problems. After all of those changes, you'll know what your finished book is really going to say. Until then, there's no reason to create conflicts by discussing potentially upsetting things, with people whom might become upset about them.

Of course, if you want to "come out of the closet" about whatever your book reveals anyway, there's no reason to wait for the book to do it for you. If the secrets are pivotal to your book, maybe discussing them now would even enhance your book by providing you with more material or a cleaner conclusion.

Nateskate
10-05-2007, 05:14 AM
If you have a compelling story to tell, and want it to be known that it is a true story, how do you feel about certain tidbits (personal and shocking) being known by those close to you?

How do you get passed this especially when you know your experiences may help others?

Jennifer, this really has tripped me up so many times. Every time I start telling my life's story, people latch on, but I can't tell much of it without hurting someone else. My story is my mom's story, my dad's story, my brothers' stories, all intertwined.

One person took a baseball bat to me and is now a physician. He has kids who love him. He has a practice of patients who may love him. He may not be the person who did that to me any longer?

I think my secret life of Bees is more compelling because it's true rather than a well told tale.

I started writing my story on Myspace, and even my sister (half-sister from my dad's second marriage) was reading it. Now, that's her father whom she loves who was a part of my dark painting. Because even if he didn't know what the people he'd left us with had done to us- which he didn't- he's still a part of a story he didn't ask to be written. Her life with him was filled with memories of pony rides and an honorable father who was always there, a true prince.

My mother has given me permission to share her story, because it is a part of mine, how she was raped as a child, and how this led to her being put into mental hospitals while i was a toddler and she disappeared from my life for years. It explains alot of things, and her courage to let me share those things will eventually help me write my story. But I still can't go into all the chaos without risking saying something she might not have wanted shared.

My sons had access to my story. People were telling me not to dare delete it, but I realized I'd come to that impass again.

Lol, I figure I have to practice because I have every intention of speaking on Oprah someday when my books are published. (novels) And you know how they'll dig up your past.

How do you get past this??? I think in part I tell my story in bits and pieces rather than writing a book. Again, if I go through and just write away, this will dig up things my brothers don't want to talk about, think about, even if it may make the best sellers list.

It may make for compelling reading when someone tries to commit suicide in front of you, which happened in my life, and you have to tackle them and drag them to the E.R. That's really why I keep balking. Maybe they'd rather have that part of their past burried and forgotten forever.