Random Writing Rants

What happened first: The fight, or the apple pie incident?

Nederlands: Het Short Story bushokje op transf...
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Today I’m writing a story about something that happened to me about 13 years ago. I don’t know how you feel about the passing of time, but for me, 13 years is a LONG time ago. So, I can remember major details, but some of those minor details have me questioning my memory. In this particular story, there is a nasty fight and an unfortunate incident with an apple pie. But I can’t, for the life of me, remember which happened first. Dilemma, dilemma.

So, what do you do when you’re writing about something that actually happened but can’t remember such important details? And what if you can remember the details, but the story works better if you rearrange events? I’m not writing a memoir, simply using actually happenings as the basis for a short story I’ll pass off as fiction. All names will be changed to protect the identities of those involved, of course. 

If it’s fiction, I can write what I want, right?

But there’s this part of me. the part that is utterly devoted to the truth, that wants to argue with me and tell me to get my facts straight. And that little voice is keeping me from getting my story on the page.

Of course, I want to tell the truth. But I also want to tell my story and have people actually read it. I want people to get to the fundamental truth of my story, which may happen easier if I arrange events in a different way than they actually occurred. What do I do? Do I make myself a slave to actual events, or just start writing and let the story unfold as the story should unfold, regardless of how it might have happened in real life? What would you do?

~Mandy

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