Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Fact or Fiction?

on February 25, 2013

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Yesterday, I picked up the phone and called my son at work.

“Thank you for calling Hungry Howie’s Pizza” I heard my son say.

“Hi, John.  Guess what?”

“Um, I’m really busy now, Mom.  Can it wait?”  I couldn’t hear noise in the background, so I imagine he just thought this was another annoying call from his mom.

“I just wanted to let you know that one of the articles that I sent out last month got accepted by a magazine.  But, yeah, call me back when you have time.”

“No, wait.  Really?  Which article?”  I knew I had him hooked.

“The one I wrote about quitting smoking.” I replied.

“Mom, you smoke two packs a day.”  he said.

“Yeah, but I wrote that during the four months I did stop smoking.  What’s it matter if I smoke or not anyway?”

“So, you’re selling the article as Fiction?”

“Why are you being such a jerk?  Of course not, it’s got a sidebar and everything, with tips on how to give up smoking.” I said, with a tinge of anger creeping into my voice.

“But you didn’t quit!”

“So, you think I’m wrong for letting them print it.  Should I just send this check for $1,000 back to them?”

Silence.

“Mom, you rock!”

I hung up after saying good-bye.  I brought my lit cigarette to my mouth, took a puff and smiled.

 

The above conversation never happened.  I haven’t sold an article to a magazine.  I did write an article while I was going out of my mind trying to quit smoking and I did send it to one magazine for consideration.  That’s when I learned that they don’t send out letters rejecting your work, they use a lousy postcard to say “Thanks, but no thanks!”

Now, if I had to jam this piece in a specific genre, I would have to classify it as “Creative Writing.”  Creative Writing, I have found, is a good fit for me.  I can take fact and fiction and stir them together to get a more interesting article or scene.  And, it’s fun!

I like taking an actual event and changing it up.  I love the freedom of not being stuck in one genre and it makes me happy to put my spin on events or conversations or scenes while I am writing about life.

Do I have to tell my readers when my piece contains creative writing?  I don’t think so, as long as you don’t mislead them on actual facts.  If they enjoy the piece, then so be it!

The definition of Creative Writing is literature that is outside the norm of established genres of writing.  And I love anything that is outside the norm.  Now, if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you might now wonder if some of that writing was fiction or non-fiction. Well, you can calm down, I have yet to hone my creative writing skills yet, so what you read is all true.

But, as I dive deeper into the realm of creative writing, I cannot guarantee that some of my posts won’t be in the creative writing genre.  Will I tell you when this happens?

Maybe yes..and maybe no. I hope you’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride and let me worry about the genre!

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14 responses to “Fact or Fiction?

  1. TamrahJo says:

    The only difference between an article and creative writing is the amount of self-awareness and self-honesty the author has…. and is willing to share with others…..
    🙂

  2. Kevin says:

    I don’t mind at all if your posts are fact or fiction. I just enjoy the writing myself. Of course, if you feel guilty and wish to inform your reader that they are reading fiction that is fine. I wouldn’t make up a bunch of stuff, then claim it was true. Then you’d be just like me and I’d be upset you were giving me competition, the mudslinging would come out, we’d be sending nasty texts and emails back and forth, we’d have to have a MMA style fight….it would get ugly, real ugly…

    But our readership would probably skyrocket…maybe that isn’t a bad plan after all!

  3. Ha! Ha! I admit to stretching the truth in my Header. Found your blog on a response to “Clche.”

  4. That definitely takes some balls. But if someone manages to listen to your tips and stick with it then that’d be great–even if you fell short. I’ve been looking to write semi-professionally or at least sell a few articles, how exactly did you managed that?

  5. Shit. That’s what I get for reading while tired.

  6. johnlmalone says:

    I enjoyed the non-conversation with your son. I thought it was great 🙂 You and I seem to have the same problem: we can write convincing scenes with lively dialogue but have difficulty fitting them into the arc of a short story

  7. Now I shall start to mentally pull my hair and scream “Argh!” Then I would think that your posts are really enjoyable and I shouldn’t spoil them by thinking too much, and I would end up thinking too much anyway!

    • Please don’t pull your hair out! Take it from an old lady, those hairs will be important when you pass 60! I’m glad you enjoy my posts and I’m glad I make you think! You don’t have to agree with me, ever! Just to know you listened to my side is enough! 🙂

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