Friday, September 16, 2011
We Are All Students
Isn't that interesting? Personally, I don't have a problem with the concept of adding fiction to a nonfiction story. But I think the author needs to make it very clear to potential readers what has been done to the story.
The book should not be promoted as nonfiction. Most everyone has heard of the stink created when author James Frey released his book "A Million Little Pieces" as a memoir, when in fact is was later disclosed to have many fictionalized parts. Readers were mad, book reviewers were mad and Oprah Winfrey, who had promoted the book in her book club, was livid.
At first I thought that if you combined nonfiction and fiction you ended up with creative nonfiction. However, according to the creativenonfiction.org website, "The word 'creative' refers simply to the use of literary craft in presenting nonfiction—that is, factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid manner. To put it another way, creative nonfiction writers do not make things up; they make ideas and information that already exist more interesting and, often, more accessible."
Obviously that is not what we are talking about doing here. We are talking about mixing fact and fiction. So what kind of writing is it? I found this related article on the Writer's Relief, Inc. blog to be very insightful. And the reader comments are all valuable as well. Sounds like my author/students have some soul-searching to do! I believe we will all be learning something.