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Cassiopeia
10-28-2007, 10:42 AM
I have a story to tell. It's about what my daughter and I went through as we worked through her recovery from Crystal Meth addiction.

I am trying to decide if I should write it in dramatized story form or a factual life story.

Which would be more interesting to you?

JoNightshade
10-28-2007, 10:55 AM
I think I'd want it to be "A true story" rather than just based on a true story. Since you're asking for opinions about what we'd rather read, I'll just say that I don't like fictional stories about drug addiction. That stuff is horrible enough as it is, I don't want to read about junkies that someone just THOUGHT UP, you know what I mean? But if it's a true story of overcoming addition and dependence, I feel like that's automatically more valid because it hasn't been fictionalized. It's raw.

Mandy-Jane
10-28-2007, 12:13 PM
I would say a factual life story. It's obviously an interesting situation, and if it's worth writing about, then it's worth writing truthfully about. You can always add a bit of fiction here and there if you need to - who would know? But I would say make it primarily factual.

Pat~
10-28-2007, 12:13 PM
I'm with Jo on that. Though it doesn't have to fall under the self-help category. It could be done as a memoir.

maestrowork
10-28-2007, 06:27 PM
If you have a good story to tell, it doesn't matter. Personally, I don't read that many memoirs/self-helps/non-fiction so I'd prefer fiction based on true story. But that's me.

scarletpeaches
10-28-2007, 06:29 PM
First of all, congratulations to your daughter and to you for supporting her.

Secondly, I think fictionalising the account would...uh...devalue it a little? They say truth is stranger than fiction but it also has more impact when people realise, "This amazing story is even more so because it's true!"

nerds
10-28-2007, 06:34 PM
First of all, congratulations to your daughter and to you for supporting her.

Secondly, I think fictionalising the account would...uh...devalue it a little? They say truth is stranger than fiction but it also has more impact when people realise, "This amazing story is even more so because it's true!"


Ditto to this. And best of luck with it, whatever you decide to do.

rugcat
10-28-2007, 06:56 PM
Definitely true story genre.

If you have a novel you want to write in mind you can use the background and story to great effect -- illuminating character, motivation, etc. If the story you want to write is about the addiction, non fiction is the way to go, I would say.

melaniehoo
10-28-2007, 07:12 PM
I agree with everyone. Why fictionalize something when the true story already has so much impact?

jenngreenleaf
10-28-2007, 07:27 PM
I spend most of my time reading things I can learn from (self-help), though I really enjoy fiction. So, this was a toss-up for me. :)

Susan B
10-28-2007, 09:13 PM
First, congratulations to you and your daughter!

It's a tough choice, nonfiction vs. fiction. I'd vote for nonfiction.

However......

As someone who has faced the realities of getting a memoir published, I'd say this: Go into it with eyes open, if it is important to you to get your book published. You'll find that agents and publishers ask tough "bottom line" questions in deciding to take on nonfiction, especially memoir.

You can face an uphill climb if your subject seems too esoteric or specialized (a concern raised with my music memoir) or if the subject has been written about before. Since there have been many memoirs dealing with addiction, you'd have to think about what makes your story different, what special credentials you may have, and so on.

(These issues are talked about in the "Life Story" forum on AW--you might want to take a look.)

If it were my story, I'd write it as memoir. I have to write what's in my heart and then worry about publication afterward. But that's not always the most practical route :-)

You might also try writing a chapter as memoir and then as fiction told in first person, and see how it feels to you.

Best of luck, whatever you decide. The most important thing is to get writing!

Susan

wordsmith
10-28-2007, 09:37 PM
First, Congrats to your daughter for beating her addiction and to you and your family for sticking by her through it.

Second, I'd go with the true-story NF route, with a section after the story that has a self-help component with lots of resources for both the addicted and the loved ones trying to cope with the addiction/addicted person.

Whatever you decide, it sounds like a great project, and best of luck with it.

Nymtoc
10-28-2007, 10:19 PM
As others have said, either approach would be effective. I'm going to tilt in favor of a factual approach, since a true account of what you and your daughter went through would have considerable strengths and would send a clear message (assuming you want to send one) to people facing similar problems.

Perhaps I'm tilting this way because every time I turn on TV I see some drama "based on" or "inspired by" some "true story," and if I bother to watch I wonder how true the damned thing really is.

It's your choice, of course. I believe you could be effective either way.

:e2BIC:

nancy sv
10-28-2007, 11:38 PM
I would go with true story. I think you've got a powerful story so stick with the facts.

Arisa81
11-01-2007, 01:23 AM
I would go with true story as well.