Wednesday, 9 October 2019

TRUE HERITAGE FOR THE (IN)FAMOUS: PREJUDICE TOWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

TRUE PREJUDICE TOWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
(angel sequel)

I was born. One day, I will die. In the interim I will have lived quite a while. Everything I have done or accomplished, everything I have thought or said is equally important. Therefore, I organized every event in chronological order, (hired a ghostwriter), wrote a book, and will promote it to you and the world.

I will sell millions of copies and make bunches of money because my name is a household word: I saved the planet by replacing plastic with biodegradables, destroyed it with a racist political policy that condoned genocide, set and broke records in the Olympics or the Boston Marathon, acted in and/or directed block buster movies, or made a fortune after being voted into public office (that I stuffed into a tax-exempt non-profit).

You can learn from me, respect me, honor me, abhor me, or maybe be jealous of me because I thought enough of myself to write an autobiography. 

(pink-perfection)
Everyone thinks they know everything about me but the masses will buy my autobiography in the hope to learn something new about the trials, tribulations, failures, and successes of my life. It will be an expose autobiography because it will include specific details that only I know and provide a new framework of intrigue by connecting details into a different way to look at me. This will allow my readers to relate more personally when I survive and thrive through whatever challenges I may have had.

Autobiographies can be comprehensive and really, really long. They are usually written in first-person point of view (there’s going to be a lot of I’s), and focus more on the facts than how the writer feels while life occurs. The reader won’t necessarily see, hear, and feel the joy, fear, panic, or hope that the writer does. The reader may not be allowed to get into the writer’s head as intimately as in a memoir, but they might be invited as a voyeur and hitch a ride as the pages turn. 

Autobiographies may cross over into memoir, fiction, non-fiction, and creative non-fiction genres. In all of these, dialogue, settings, a solid narrative, and true character descriptions should be present. In these genres more than most others, the writer may worry about being accused and sued for libel and or slander. Scenarios should be depicted as truth and as accurately as possible. Memories are not infallible. Disclaimers are invaluable, should be included, written as inclusively as possible, and approved by a literary attorney. 

It is believed that Saint Augustine of Hippo in Carthage wrote the first modern autobiography. Confessions consisted of a series of thirteen books written between AD 397 and 400. Saint Augustine outlines his sinful youth (he thought of himself a bad boy) and how he cleaned up his life after his conversion away from pagan worship to the Christian faith.

For more information on genres related to writing stories on one's heritage: 
https://www.aslongasibreathe.com/2019/10/heritage-for-infamous-prejudice-towards_9.html

(pov-memoir)


********
True Crime Memoir – Survivor: As Long As I Breathe
is dedicated to:
survivors of emotional, physical, spiritual, or sexual abuse,
those who have had to bury a murdered child,
former members of a religious cult based on misogyny,
children born with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome,
and anyone who was falsely accused of a crime.


********
Joyce A Lefler is a true crime survivor and the author of
From Miracle to Murder: Justice For Adam.
She is a facilitator for Parents of Murdered Children,
a bereavement counselor, registered nurse,
and an advocate against abuse.

Connect with her:
Website:
Facebook:
Advocacy project:
Amazon:
                                                                                                                                 


                       

TRUE HERITAGE FOR THE (IN)FAMOUS - PREJUDICE TOWARDS CREATIVE NON-FICTION

PREJUDICE TOWARDS CREATIVE NON-FICTION

(pinterest)

Creative and non-fiction, by strict definition, don’t belong together.

Non-fiction is true while creative thoughts come from the imagination or attenuated memories. According to Leon Dupuis, the creative in creative non-fiction comes into play by the author’s unique voice and style and opinion of the non-fiction.

A creative non-fiction author makes non-fiction stories read like fiction with the goal that the reader will be in love with both the facts and the fantasy. Creative nonfiction books such as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean employ the literary techniques of fiction to report on actual people, places, and events.

I never understood the hullabaloo over the creative best-selling non-fiction book written by James Frey, A Million Little Pieces he wrote in 2006.  I absolutely loved the style of writing James Frey used. His total disregard for the use of quotation marks or italics for internal thoughts, using capital letters whenever he wanted to, his wavering wandering margins, and the freedom in his use of the writing technique called: stream of consciousness. His writing depicted the confusion, turmoil, and pain his mind was supposedly in during his forced withdrawal from drugs and alcohol.

The hullabaloo over his 2006 bestselling book was that he passed it off as a 100% true. It was correctly labeled as creative but it wasn’t 100% non-fiction. As Michiko Kakutani said about the Frey affair, “It is a case about how much value contemporary culture places on the very idea of truth.”
A memoir is understood to be as factual as memory permits. The very word, memoir, is based on the word, memory. Memories can be fallible. They can fade over time or be enhanced by emotions associated with that memory. However, a memoir must be based on some factual connection to a person, time, or place.
 
(asquotes.com)

The problem with A Million Little Pieces is that it was first published as a true memoir. Therefore, readers and buyers expected it to be as true and factual as memories allowed.
Unfortunately, James Frey enhanced those memories with creative thoughts, his wild writing style, and ran over the cautionary yellow lines that separate fiction from non-fiction.

Was labeling A Million Pieces as true memoir James Frey’s idea? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps he trusted his agent too much. If the book had been published as creative non-fiction, the ruckus might never have happened and Frey’s ingenious style could have been heralded.

A true creative non-fiction artist makes non-fiction stories read like fiction so that readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.

All this persnickety perfectionism over exacto definitions of the nuances of different genre is what drove me to write a good disclaimer for my true crime memoir From Miracle to Murder: Justice for Adam and have it approved by a lawyer. My trigger for PTSD is to be falsely accused and I absolutely didn’t want that.

“The facts presented in this narrative were woven together from memory, journals, and testimony before and after trial, depositions, trial transcripts and more. She is infallible and did the best she could to depict the absolute truth.”

For more information on genres related to writing stories of one's heritage: 
https://www.aslongasibreathe.com/2019/10/heritage-for-infamous-prejudice-towards.html

(eveningexpress.co.uk)

  ********

True Crime Memoir – Survivor: As Long As I Breathe
is dedicated to:
survivors of emotional, physical, spiritual, or sexual abuse,
those who have had to bury a murdered child,
former members of a religious cult based on misogyny,
children born with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome,
and anyone who was falsely accused of a crime.

 ********

                                                                                

 

********
Joyce A Lefler is a true crime survivor and the author of
From Miracle to Murder: Justice For Adam.
She is a facilitator for Parents of Murdered Children,
a bereavement counselor, registered nurse,
and an advocate against abuse.

Connect with her:
Website:
Facebook:
Advocacy project:
Amazon: