[DL.: Many readers of this blog are writing memoir as a possible entry into fiction writing. The following is a reprint of an article that appeared in the fictorians.com blog that explores the relationship between the two genres. The Fictorian blog is an extensive one and many readers of The Memoir Network blog will enjoy perusing its archives—and becoming members. Kristen Luna, its author, has graciously given me permission to reprint her post here. While I am not in total agreement with the fluidity between memoir and friction as depicted in this post, I believe the post is a stimulating one. I have written about this topic of memoir and realistic fiction elsewhere. Please post your feedback below.]
In the summer, my brother and I would walk to our small town library. Sometimes, we’d cross paths with a man walking his mountain lion on the sidewalk. One time, the mountain lion bit my arm, and I needed fourteen stitches.
It’s crazy, but it’s actually mostly true. I was afraid for my life when I saw the mountain lion, but it never actually bit my arm. But it’s plausible, and who’s to say I’m wrong? It’s my memory, after all.
I technically could sell this story as a memoir. But when someone starts digging into my history and finds that, although there was a man in my hometown that had a pet mountain lion, there are no hospital records of me getting stitches. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
We have helped many people whose lives demanded to be recorded but who themselves were not writers to create interesting and well-written memoirs.
We listen to you speak your story. We ask you a multitude of questions. Then we get to work writing. We come back to you with text and you make lots of corrective comments and we ask you a whole lot of new questions. Then, we go back to writing again.
Over time, your story develops into a memoir—one that you have shaped at every stage of the writing process.
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